Sunday Morning Book Thread 05-01-2016: Simply Irreformable [OregonMuse]


Qatar National Library.jpg
Qatar National Library

Good morning to all of you morons and moronettes and bartenders everywhere and all the ships at sea. Welcome to AoSHQ's stately, prestigious, internationally acclaimed and high-class Sunday Morning Book Thread, where men are men, space isn't safe, and snowflakes will melt. The Sunday Morning Book Thread is the only AoSHQ thread that is so hoity-toity, pants are required. Except if you feel like you're going to shart.

“Be as careful of the books you read, as of the company you keep; for your habits and character will be as much influenced by the former as the latter.”

― Paxton Hood


Help Fight SOJS (Sudden Onset Jihadi Syndrome)

One of the most pressing questions of the 21st century is, why do acclimated, peaceful, law-abiding Muslims suddenly go nuts and run off to join ISIS? Or, worse, show up one day at work and start shooting people?

Nabeel Qureshi is a Christian convert from Islam, and his best-selling book is Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity. In a USA Today article, he writes about his own upbringing:

As a Muslim growing up in the United States, I was taught by my imams and the community around me that Islam is a religion of peace. My family modeled love for others and love for country, and not just by their words. My father served in the U.S. Navy throughout my childhood, starting as a seaman and retiring as a lieutenant commander. I believed wholeheartedly a slogan often repeated at my mosque after 9/11: “The terrorists who hijacked the planes also hijacked Islam.”

Yet as I began to investigate the Quran and the traditions of Muhammad’s life for myself in college, I found to my genuine surprise that the pages of Islamic history are filled with violence. How could I reconcile this with what I had always been taught about Islam?

So, in other words, he actually read the Qur'an for himself. Hmmm...

Others have argued that what Islam needs to have happen to it is the equivalent of the Protestant Reformation. In fact, this is the specific argument of Ayaan Hirsi Ali's book, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now:

[Ali] identifies five key amendments to Islamic doctrine that Muslims have to make to bring their religion out of the seventh century and into the twenty-first. And she calls on the Western world to end its appeasement of the Islamists. “Islam is not a religion of peace,” she writes. It is the Muslim reformers who need our backing, not the opponents of free speech.

But from what I can tell, her suggestions on how to "fix" Islam would turn it into something that really wouldn't be Islam. Also, if the Protestant Reformation was just Christians reading the Bible for themselves (and I think for the most part it was), then Al-Qaeda and ISIS are what you get when Muslims start reading the Qur'an for themselves.

Now, that weird rustling sound you're hearing is coming from all the lame equivocations being constructed out of straw: "But the Bible has violent passages, too." Yes, it does. But do you know what the Bible doesn't have? Specific instructions for Christians to go out and kill unbelievers. That many have done so throughout the history of the Church (and in the name of Christ) is to our shame, not glory. Because such actions go against the specific scriptural injunctions *against* violence and attempts at establishing the Kingdom of God by force of arms, by fighting and killing. These injunctions are so strong that there developed an absolute pacifist stream of Christian thought, where no fighting or taking up of arms can ever by justified. I don't much agree with it, but I can appreciate its pedigree, from the Church's earliest days. There's nothing comparable to this in the Islamic world, is there?

Christianity and Islam are not symmetrical in this manner. The Reformation was helped along by increasing rates of literacy in Europe. And now, literacy is spreading throughout the Islamic world and ordinary believers are reading the Qur'an for the first time in their lives, and they're finding what Dr. Quereshi has found. I read an article earlier this week, which link I forgot to save, about a Palestinian writer who was interviewed on Palestinian TV and he asked, "so why do I have to hate the Jew?" He cited times past in history where Muslims and Jews lived peaceably together. And he repeated his question, then added, "Why now? Why do I have to hate the Jew now?"

And the answer is, of course, because the whole Islamic world is under pressure from the jihadis to conform. They're not "hijacking" Islam, they're exploiting characteristics that have been in Islam since the very beginning.

Because of this, the Qur'an is kind of like the Muslim version of a headcrab. All of a sudden, it will overwhelm an unsuspecting Muslim and then they show up at work with weapons and murderous intent and officials can say nothing but gee, how could that have happened, when the answer is right there in front of them.

Fortunately for us, not all Muslims who read the Qur'an get bitten by the headcrab. Who does and who doesn't, at least in this country, is the subject of United States of Jihad: Investigating America's Homegrown Terrorists by Peter Bergen, which

...tells the entwined stories of the key actors on the American front. Among the perpetrators are Anwar al-Awlaki, the New Mexico-born radical cleric who became the first American citizen killed by a CIA drone and who mentored the Charlie Hebdo shooters; Samir Khan, whose Inspire webzine has rallied terrorists around the world, including the Tsarnaev brothers; and Omar Hammami, an Alabama native and hip hop fan who became a fixture in al Shabaab’s propaganda videos until fatally displeasing his superiors

But as one review notes, "Bergen’s position that conservatives have overblown the Jihadist threat for political gain and the focus should be on climate change and gun control mirrors the position of the Obama administration. Whether Bergen is echoing the administration, the reverse or both arrived at the same conclusion is not known." So there's that.

Me, I figure that the guys who suddenly run off to join ISIS are probably the Mulsim equivalents of the same type of people who, back in the 70s, would disappear and then reappear some months later selling flowers on the street corner as members of some religious cult, i.e. they're mostly middle class, bored, with an excess of leisure time on their hands.

The jihadis have raised hard questions about how the Qur'an should be read and interpreted. I'm not sure how the more moderate Muslims answer these interpretive questions. I have heard, for example, that moderate imams have been brought to Gitmo to talk with the detainees about how Al-Qaeda distorts and misuses the Qur'an, but I don't know what is said, or how the interpretive issues are dealt with.

And who gets to say authoritatively what the Qur'an does or does not say?

And while we're at it, here's a woman who's not down with the whole ISIS/Al-Qaeda "let's make all the women wear Hefty Bags" schtick: Brigitte Gabriel, a Maronite Christian who was born in Lebanon, has written Because They Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America, which

is a political wake-up call told through a very personal memoir frame. Brigitte warns that the US is threatened by fundamentalist Islamic theology in the same way Lebanon was— radical Islam will stop at nothing short of domination of all non-Muslim countries. Gabriel saw this mission start in Lebanon, and she refuses to stand silently by while it happens here.

I'm old enough to remember when Beirut was known as "The Paris of the Middle East". It was very modern, very cosmopolitan, where Muslims, Christians, and Jews all lived together and more or less got all lone. And then one day the jihadis showed up, and that was the end of that.

Hugos There?

The controversy over the Hugo Awards has been jacked up a notch:

For the second year in a row, nominations for the prestigious Hugo Awards for science fiction & fantasy have been swept by the Sad Puppies & Rabid Puppies, two groups of authors and fans who oppose left-wing domination of the community.

There are actually two slates, a Sad Puppy slate, and a Rabid Puppy slate, put together by Vox Day, which is a separate entity, even though there is a lot of overlap. You can read the full list in the Breitbart article I linked.

The response of the CHORFs and SJW crybullies has been exactly what you would expect, that is, a cavalcade of stupid:

The puppies oppose diversity initiatives and support lists that are dominated by white men. Their targets, which they call SJW for "social justice warriors," are women, people of color, LGBT writers, editors and artists and the people who support them, including L.A. Times Critic at Large John Scalzi.

I'm not going to even bother to fisk this. They never tired of repeating the same lies. Oh, and notice that they don't mention, as I noted a few weeks ago, that the Sad Puppies recommendations were solicited and collated by women authors this year.

In a related development, this will be the first year of the Dragon Awards:

Welcome to the first annual Dragon Awards! As a part of our 30th Anniversary as the nation's largest fan run convention, we are introducing a new way to recognize excellence in all things Science Fiction and Fantasy. These awards will be by the fans, for the fans, and are your chance to reward those who have made real contributions to SF, books, games, comics, and shows. There is no qualification for voting – no convention fees or other memberships are needed. The only requirement is that you register, confirm your email address for voting purposes, and agree to the rules. This ensures that all votes count equally.

Dragon Con, which advertises itself as "the largest, multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction & fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, film in the universe" will be held this year in Atlanta, GA on Sept 2-5.

The emergence of the Dragon Awards is interesting. When the market is broken, you get alternate markets. It remains to be seen whether the Dragons will last, and whether they will acquire the prestige that the Hugos have long held.


When Words Mattered

When did neo-conservatism start? Well, maybe right here:

On November 10, 1975, the General Assembly of United Nations passed Resolution 3379, which declared Zionism a form of racism. Afterward, a tall man with long, graying hair, horned-rim glasses, and a bow-tie stood to speak. He pronounced his words with the rounded tones of a Harvard academic, but his voice shook with outrage: "The United States rises to declare, before the General Assembly of the United Nations, and before the world, that it does not acknowledge, it will not abide by, it will never acquiesce in this infamous act."

Resolution 3379 was engineered by the Soviet Union and filtered through its various proxies, so this is just another aspect of the Cold War. And instead of presenting some kind of Kissingeresque "détente" kind of response, the US Ambasssardor to the UN Daniel Patrick Moynihan got up and loudly said oh hells no.

These events are recounted in detail in Moynihan's Moment: America's Fight Against Zionism as Racism by Gil Troy. And it goes on to argue that from that point on, America lifted itself out of the crisis of self-confidence brought about by a slumping economy and failure in Vietnam, toward a more robust foreign policy and fearlessness in asserting and defending American interests.

Of course, Obama has pretty much peed it all away, which is something that even Jimmy Carter was unable to do.

As this review notes:

Resolution 3379 was eventually repealed on Dec. 16, 1991, with a clear majority. Moynihan’s doggedly delivered 750 speeches against the resolution made the difference in the final outcome.

Moynihan was a Democrat, but even so, he was one of the good guys.


Moron Recommendations

Veteran moron commenter Skandia Recluse has a couple of recommendations that he believes might interest the readers of this Smart Military Blog™:

First, The Boer War by Winston Churchill,

Churchill's book, a series of letters written for publication in English newspapers, catalogs troop movements here and there, and the battles fought...more a recounting of his own personal adventures and observations than a comprehensive history of the conflict.

In particular, it recounts the episode where

...Churchill is captured in Pretoria not long after he arrives to join the British forces -- and is frustrated not by the conditions in the prison, but by the fact that he was missing the action. Churchill tells the story of how he escaped and made a daring overland crossing, traveling only at night to avoid detection.

And then there's The Memoirs of Colonel John S. Mosby, one of the most effective (Southern) military leaders of the Civil War.

He writes of 'foraging' for rations, capturing enemy supply wagon trains, gathering intelligence, spying, holding and breaking lines of communication and supply lines. He also writes about inspiring leadership and leaders not so inspiring and how that affects the outcome.

And get this:

[Mosby] also suggests that written documentation might have been falsified after the fact. Mosby then mentions the conflicting conclusions of expert historians, and their efforts to rewrite history to protect a favored leader, or place blame on another leader who may or may not be at fault for disaster.

Make me wonder whether we really know anything about history at all.

Mosby's memoirs are available for 99 cents on Kindle. While looking at the Amazon page for this, the Amazon algorithm popped up a number of other cheap Civil War histories that appear to be first-person accounts, such as War Years with Jeb Stuart by W.W. Blackford, Hardtack & Coffee or The Unwritten Story of Army Life by John D. Billings and Rebel Private: Front And Rear: Memoirs Of A Confederate Soldier by William A. Fletcher. There's also The Passing of the Armies: An Account Of The Final Campaign Of The Army Of The Potomac by Joshua Chamberlain, who commanded the 1st Brigade of the Union Army’s V Corps.

All of these are 99 cents.


What I'm Reading

I've just started Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges as part of my church's reading recommendations.

"The motivation for this book stems from a growing conviction that those of us whom I call conservative evangelicals may have become so preoccupied with some of the major sins of society around us that we have lost sight of the need to deal with our own more `refined' or subtle sins." And in the book Bridges addresses these "respectable sins"--sins, that though they bring dishonor to God, are too often overlooked among Christians. We are apt to focus on the obvious ills of society and our attention to those seemingly great sins somehow convinces us that our small sins are acceptable.

Anger, discontentment, unthankfulness, selfishness, and lack of self-control are some of the personal sins Bridges specifically discusses. You know, actually, I probably don't want to read this book. It's probably going to make me think about things I'd rather not have to think about.


___________

Moronette 'votermom' is putting together a list of moron authors over on the Goodreads site which is intended to be acessible to non-members. Here is the list she has compiled so far. Let her know if there's an author she's missing.

http://www.bookhorde.org/p/aoshq-authors.html

___________

Don't forget the AoSHQ reading group on Goodreads. It's meant to support horde writers and to talk about the great books that come up on the book thread. It's called AoSHQ Moron Horde and the link to it is here: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/175335-aoshq-moron-horde.

___________

So that's all for this week. As always, book thread tips, suggestions, bribes, rumors, threats, and insults may be sent to OregonMuse, Proprietor, AoSHQ Book Thread, at the book thread e-mail address: aoshqbookthread, followed by the 'at' sign, and then 'G' mail, and then dot cee oh emm.

What have you all been reading this week? Hopefully something good, because, as you all know, life is too short to be reading lousy books.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 08:56 AM




Comments

(Jump to bottom of page)

1 Good morning bookworms

Posted by: Skip at May 01, 2016 08:52 AM (PFZvJ)

2 Yay book thread!

Posted by: @votermom at May 01, 2016 08:56 AM (nbrY/)

3 I am just now starting on today's blog post, which will be a month end wrap up.
But if you missed it - on Friday I reviewed Pretty Little Creatures by Moron Vince Milam.
Link in nic

Posted by: @votermom at May 01, 2016 08:58 AM (nbrY/)

4 I'm got the next Aubrey /Maturin story HMS Supise today. I'm staying in the Napoleoic mood.

Posted by: Skip at May 01, 2016 08:58 AM (PFZvJ)

5 That's a lot of words to read.

Posted by: Village Idiot's Apprentice at May 01, 2016 08:59 AM (ptqRm)

6 In desperate need of something hysterically funny to read. Here's the question: What is the funniest book you ever read?

I will offer "The Egg and I" by Betty MacDonald.

Posted by: creeper at May 01, 2016 09:02 AM (ghfOx)

7 Simply Irreformable

====

she's so fine
there's no telling where the money went

Posted by: Bigby's Knuckle Sandwich at May 01, 2016 09:03 AM (Cq0oW)

8 Have heard a few well versed people say Islam can't be reformed as it would destroy most of its tenets to do it leaving nothing left.

Posted by: Skip at May 01, 2016 09:04 AM (PFZvJ)

9 "What is the funniest book you ever read?"

Any of the fun books by Danial V. Gallery


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_V._Gallery

Posted by: Village Idiot's Apprentice at May 01, 2016 09:04 AM (ptqRm)

10 I read Under The Same Sky: From Starvation in North Korea to Salvation in America by Joseph Kim and Stephen Tally. Although this book gives a glimpse into life in North Korea, it is not as well-written as a book I read last year on the same subject, Escape From Camp 14.

Posted by: Zoltan at May 01, 2016 09:08 AM (JYer2)

11 Funniest book?

Catch 22, but it's dry sarcastic humor

Posted by: Skip at May 01, 2016 09:08 AM (PFZvJ)

12 Happy May Day, comrades!

What, no reviews of Das Kapital or Mao's Little Red Book?

Posted by: rickl at May 01, 2016 09:09 AM (sdi6R)

13 Good morning fellow Book Threadists. Speaking of funny books, I'm reading 'The Cantor Wore Crinolines' the second to the last (so far) of the Liturgical Mystery series by Mark Schweizer. The man has been able to maintain a level of humor and cleverness that is wonderful and remains fresh. I hope he's working on the next book(s) because there is only one left after this one. The series really is a delight.

Posted by: JTB at May 01, 2016 09:09 AM (V+03K)

14 Qatar National Library


Wow. Lookit all those Korans!


Posted by: naturalfake at May 01, 2016 09:11 AM (oU3Bb)

15 OM, Thanks for another Book Thread and yesterday's Chess Thread. Aside from Nationals ball games, they are a highlight of my weekend.

Posted by: JTB at May 01, 2016 09:12 AM (V+03K)

16 Nabeel and atheist convert David Wood had their camera confiscated by police for witnessing in Dearborn several years ago. We've had our own no-go zones for some time now.

Posted by: angela urkel at May 01, 2016 09:14 AM (4m41+)

17 Happy May Day, comrades!

What, no reviews of Das Kapital or Mao's Little Red Book?

Posted by: rickl at May 01, 2016 09:09 AM (sdi6R)



Are they required reading now in every school?

Posted by: TheQuietMan at May 01, 2016 09:14 AM (45oDG)

18 The funniest book - which I first read in the back row of class when I was supposed to be appreciating a college class on Shakespeare - "The General Danced at Dawn" - the first collection of the McAusland stories, by G. M. Fraser. (He of the Flashman series)

I took "The Shirley Letters" by Louisa Clappe to read at a market event yesterday, and got into it a little way. (I need to brush up on the Gold Rush experience for the current WIP) Alas, I had plenty of time for it, because I sold no books, while my daughter sold her origami earrings right and left. I think the market has definitely tipped towards ebooks, and there are ways for a writer to capitalize on that in direct sales. Exhausting day, and a bit discouraging, although I hope to have the cover for the next Luna City Chronicle this week, and launch that book on time at mid-month.

Posted by: Sgt. Mom at May 01, 2016 09:14 AM (oK6A/)

19 I wish I could be confident that Islam can be 'reformed' but have serious doubts unless the jihadis are simply eliminated. When I saw where the top photo was, my first thought was how long before it's torched by the 'true believers'. Not happy, happy thoughts.

Posted by: JTB at May 01, 2016 09:15 AM (V+03K)

20 Reading a series by Robert Jackson about a fictional Brit fighter pilot in WWII. Series starts with "Hurricane Squadron" (Battle of France) and continues through Battle of Britain, Western Desert, and through the end of the War. Not up to Aubrey/Maturin standards, but pretty good history and good air combat descriptions.

Posted by: That SOB Van Owen at May 01, 2016 09:17 AM (CAKDm)

21 I'm reading Dave Ramsey's "The Total Money Makeover".

Is there enough new or different material in "Dave Ramsey's Complete Guide To Money: The Handbook of Financial Peace University" to be worthwhile?

Other books with similar philosophy that are worth a look?

Posted by: doug at May 01, 2016 09:19 AM (LbrXR)

22 Saw a statistic once how little is published in the Islamic world. It's frightening but telling if anyone knows where to find that.

Posted by: Skip at May 01, 2016 09:21 AM (PFZvJ)

23 Skip, thanks. I'm embarrassed to admit I've never read "Catch-22". Reviewers either loved it or hated it. I think I was afraid I'd hate it and didn't want to make the effort. But you say it's dry, so it should fit my sense of humor. Thank you.

Posted by: creeper at May 01, 2016 09:22 AM (ghfOx)

24 I finished CS Lewis' 'A Preface To Paradise Lost'. I can now continue reading the poem with a greater appreciation and a MUCH better understanding of epic poetry in general. Shouldn't be surprised by the depth of insight and exquisite writing Lewis brings to his academic works. But there are times when I think he is doing it just to make me feel comparatively illiterate. SIGH!

Posted by: JTB at May 01, 2016 09:23 AM (V+03K)

25 Isn't Sufism the moderate Islam that everyone seeks?

Posted by: Grump928(C) says Free Soothie! at May 01, 2016 09:23 AM (rwI+c)

26 Curse you, naturalfake, you beat me to it. That's what I get for reading the post.

Posted by: PabloD at May 01, 2016 09:23 AM (GP2ST)

27
Some funny books in my experience were The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody by Will Cuppy, Bored of the Rings by National Lampoon and Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain.

BotR, I suspect, does not appeal to anyone who has no recollection of all the references to consumer advertisements from the late 60s that were poured into the naming of people and places in it. Although not to my knowledge based upon advertising, my favorite place name from the map is Land of the Knee-Walking Turkeys.

Posted by: Krebs v Carnot: Epic Battle of the Cycling Stars (TM) at May 01, 2016 09:25 AM (BK3ZS)

28 I've read Hard Tack and Coffee. It is a description of life in the Union army. I don't recall any combat but it describes how they lived, marched, ate, played, were punished etc.

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks at May 01, 2016 09:25 AM (Nwg0u)

29 I'm old enough to remember when Beirut was known as "The Paris of the Middle East". It was very modern, very cosmopolitan, where Muslims, Christians, and Jews all lived together and more or less got all lone. And then one day the jihadis showed up, and that was the end of that.


Actually, one day the Palestinians showed up. After Black September. That tipped the demographic balance.

Posted by: Grump928(C) says Free Soothie! at May 01, 2016 09:26 AM (rwI+c)

30 Creeper, for funniest book I will offer "Southern Ladies and Gentlement" by Florence King. And I will also offer "Wilt" by Tom Sharpe.


I am reading something I bought about lives of Renaissance men, literally. I've read about Titian and Duerer so far, and am currently reading a chapter on some guy I never heard of. The author really likes "humanists" so I'm getting the impression he doesn't really approve of God.

I finished "These Walls are Talking" about some women's experiences working in the abortion industry. Pretty vile stuff, but you could pretty much figure that out going in. The squeamish will want to skip this one.

And I just started a murder mysery that so far speaks fluent cliche. Murder victim was a woman who was trying to sleep her way to a partnership and who was abused by her stepfather, and the detective drinks, so who knows if I will even manage to finish this.

But typing this did remind me that I really need to charge my kindle, so there's that.

Posted by: Tonestaple at May 01, 2016 09:26 AM (icrQc)

31 21 ... doug, Check out Ric Edelman's 'The Truth About Money'. Make sure it is the latest edition as it has evolved over time. Mrs. JTB and I started using his approach decades ago and it has been a tremendous help for our finances.

Posted by: JTB at May 01, 2016 09:27 AM (V+03K)

32 But from what I can tell, her suggestions on how to "fix" Islam would turn it into something that really wouldn't be Islam.

====

not to mention that many nominal Christians suggest changes designed in their estimate to bring Christianity into the 21st century and that doesn't go over well typically.

Posted by: Bigby's Knuckle Sandwich at May 01, 2016 09:27 AM (Cq0oW)

33 Krebs @ 27

I read "Innocents". Loved Twain. Hated his traveling companions. Added the other to two my list. Thanks much.

Posted by: creeper at May 01, 2016 09:28 AM (ghfOx)

34 I doubt there is even one book I would be interested in reading in the Quatar National Library.

Posted by: Bruce With a Wang! at May 01, 2016 09:29 AM (iQIUe)

35 "A Thousand Years for Revenge", also written by Peter Berg.

As an investigative journalist, he has done an excellent job of digging up the hidden story as to why things happened, and how we came to 9/11/2001.

But he does draw all the wrong conclusions. Because of his philosophical-political mindset.

It's not depressing, but it is illuminating as to how people can actually have all the facts in hand, and yet think themselves into the wrong conclusion. Changing a persons mind is not always about educating with facts (what they think and know) , but changing how they think.

A lot harder, and sometimes impossible.

Posted by: Bossy Conservative...pondering the future at May 01, 2016 09:31 AM (+1T7c)

36 Posted by: Tonestaple at May 01, 2016 09:26 AM (icrQc)
Added your suggestions to the list.

Have you read "Color From a Light Within"? Story of el Greco.

Posted by: creeper at May 01, 2016 09:31 AM (ghfOx)

37
Seriously, Islam is fueled on hate. They do not want peace, a good life for themselves or their children. How many cultures teach their children how to hate and kill when they are 4 years old? How many people--sane people, decorate their infants with firearms and live grenades for baby pictures? And the joo haters do not criticize this at all. They think it is normal. It is a sick sick culture.

Posted by: Bruce With a Wang! at May 01, 2016 09:32 AM (iQIUe)

38 I'm going to reform rattlesnakes into cute little bunnies.

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks at May 01, 2016 09:33 AM (Nwg0u)

39 Checked out Seveneves from the library, as it's a near-unanimous recommendation for Hugo-worthiness. It's the usual cerebral Neal Stephenson stuff, and could be trimmed *in half* and be just as effective. It takes nearly 2/3 of the book to get to the titular characters, which is where I'm at now. It seems to be overall a wargaming exercise on just how we can get to human genetic engineering without the troubling ethical issues. Because we have to since there are only 7 fertile women - and no men - left in the universe. Based upon chapter titles, it seems to begin jumping ahead from this point on, so I think he spent far too much time setting the scene and had to rush the rest of the book to meet deadline. We'll see. I'm not planning on putting it at the top of my Hugo ballot as it stands right now.

Devoured Marko Kloos' Chains of Command as soon as it came out. I like the series, but I'm disappointed in Kloos vis-a-vis the Sad Puppies. He really didn't need to mention last year's kerfluffle in the acknowledgements. Virtue/tribal signaling, I suppose. You can't let *them* know you're not absolutely opposed to whatever the Puppies are doing - it might mean they won't like you any more and there goes your career.

Posted by: Jeff Weimer at May 01, 2016 09:33 AM (OR5cC)

40 Another couple of really funny books are two written by the late comedian Alan King back in the 60s. 'Help, I'm a Prisoner in a Chinese Bakery' and 'Anyone Who Owns His Own Home Deserves It'. Used copies are out there. I always liked King's appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show and the books are even better. I re-read the books last year and still laugh out loud at them.

Posted by: JTB at May 01, 2016 09:35 AM (V+03K)

41 Moynihan was a Democrat, but even so, he was one of the good guys.

That used to be possible, but now that access to Democrat teachings has expanded so much, we get more Sudden-SJW Syndrome.

Posted by: t-bird at May 01, 2016 09:35 AM (OLNwX)

42 Islam cannot be fixed.
Basis of Christianity: Jesus was a peaceful perfect man of moderate means who gave up the material aspect of the world to become a man of no material wealth who eventually voluntarily allowed himself to be crucified on the cross to die and be our offering to God in exchange for forgiving our sins.
Basis of Islam: Muhammad was an extremely violent imperfect man who lusted for women and children, power and glory on Earth, who defiantly killed all who attacked him, and who also attacked innocents without number to extend his empire and increase his slave numbers and does not offer forgiveness to anyone.

Now, explain how the basis for each religion allows for one, the other or both to be religions of peace.

Posted by: astonerii at May 01, 2016 09:37 AM (o/DjS)

43 Reviewers either loved it or hated it.

I love it and hate it. For this reason, it is one of my favorite books. It's hilarious and frustrating all at once. "Auntie Mame" by Patrick Dennis and "Good Omens" by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett are two of my favorite funny books.

Posted by: no good deed at May 01, 2016 09:37 AM (GgxVX)

44
Damn! Someone won second prize in PB last night for a total of $1,273,656. Should have been me. SHOULD HAVE BEEN ME!!!!

Oh, well, will hold out for Wed's game which is now a mere $136,564,400 after federal taxes. Now that would buy a lot of books....

Posted by: Bruce With a Wang! at May 01, 2016 09:38 AM (iQIUe)

45 Isn't Sufism the moderate Islam that everyone seeks?

Posted by: Grump928(C) says Free Soothie! at May 01, 2016 09:23 AM (rwI+c)



Apparently, they kill you if you try to quit as well.

There was a semi-famous English guitarist who became Sufi but later wanted to quit (according to reports) but couldn't/didn't because he received death threats.

Maybe John Reborn, maybe not- going by memory.

Posted by: naturalfake at May 01, 2016 09:38 AM (oU3Bb)

46 Got 'em, JTB. Thank you.

Posted by: creeper at May 01, 2016 09:39 AM (ghfOx)

47 For books published by country, I found this Wikipedia page. Oman has 7. I wonder what they're about. I guess with an awful lot of these countries, they depend on other places that speak the same language, but I try to imagine having only a few thousand to choose from and out of 5,000 books, just how many are going to be to my taste. Scary.

http://tinyurl.com/my9wpn2

Posted by: Tonestaple at May 01, 2016 09:39 AM (icrQc)

48 The principle reason Islam spread so rapidly across the Middle East and Africa was because of the passive nature of Christianity. It met no resistance. Charles Martell was the first serious opposition.

Posted by: Mike K at May 01, 2016 09:40 AM (5namt)

49 Stumbled on a way to answer my own question -- https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/wiki/readinglist

I never paid much attention to reddit, but that is a helpful page.

Posted by: doug at May 01, 2016 09:40 AM (LbrXR)

50 Auntie Mame

Posted by: no good deed at May 01, 2016 09:37 AM (GgxVX)

Oh, thank you! It's been sixty years since I read that. Time for a re-read. Added "Good Omens".

Posted by: creeper at May 01, 2016 09:42 AM (ghfOx)

51 Funny books? 'Little Big Man' - Thomas Berger

Posted by: Seamus Muldoon at May 01, 2016 09:42 AM (mvenn)

52 Almost anything by

PG Wodehouse (esp, Jeeves, Blandings, Oldest Member stories)

or

Tom Sharpe

is going to be laugh out loud funny-

that is if your sense of humor swings that way.

Posted by: naturalfake at May 01, 2016 09:42 AM (oU3Bb)

53 I'm reading 'The Devil's Pleasure Palace: The Cult of Critical Theory and The Subversion of the West' by Michael Walsh. It's about the Frankfurt School and cultural Marxism.

Posted by: ghost of hallelujah at May 01, 2016 09:42 AM (dBmVV)

54 22 Saw a statistic once how little is published in the Islamic world. It's frightening but telling if anyone knows where to find that.

Posted by: Skip at May 01, 2016 09:21 AM (PFZvJ)


I've heard that there's actually quite a lot of scholarship cranked out every year in the Islamic world. But it's all Qur'anic studies and commentary.

Posted by: OregonMuse at May 01, 2016 09:42 AM (e8ge6)

55 I mentioned last week about 'The New Complete Hoyle, Revised' covering games. It is interesting just to look through the table of contents noting all the card and board games I've never heard of or the many variations of known games developed over the years. The section on checkers went into depths I never knew about when I last played it during the previous Ice Age. (Okay, it was early in the Kennedy term.)

Some of the language is a bit stilted to modern ears but that is part of the fun. And Hoyle, and the editors, did take the rules seriously.

Posted by: JTB at May 01, 2016 09:44 AM (V+03K)

56 Posted by: Seamus Muldoon at May 01, 2016 09:42 AM (mvenn)

Seamus, my stepfather, whose judgement in literature was impeccable, highly recommended LBM to me. Said it was the funniest book he'd read in thirty years. I never got a laugh out of it. Go figure.

Posted by: creeper at May 01, 2016 09:44 AM (ghfOx)

57
I have a friend from high school who considered me an "intellectual hack" because I found Cuppy's book funny. We're now Facebook friends and he continues his "hibrow" ways by posting links to articles in the NYT and NPR and is a big fan of Sir Golfsalot and Shrillary.

I pay his proselytizing no mind -- he's no different than many of my acquaintances from my high school years in that regard -- because there's no point trying to convince him of something different on a public forum. We hiked a substantial portion of the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire for several weeks in '76, and that experience goes a long way toward explaining my continued interest in him as a person and what he is doing to serve others (he's a physician).

Were we to meet in person at some point, I don't doubt that our considerable differences in our views of the world would become part of the conversation, but it would be a polite one.

Posted by: Krebs v Carnot: Epic Battle of the Cycling Stars (TM) at May 01, 2016 09:45 AM (BK3ZS)

58 Charles Martell was the first serious opposition.

Charles "The Hammer". A good name for it.

Posted by: t-bird at May 01, 2016 09:46 AM (OLNwX)

59 Another 'Muslim to Christian conversion' book recommendation: "Answering Islam" by Abdul Saleeb Norman Geisler; published 1993, 2002.

I'm currently reading this, and find it to be a very easy, yet thoughtful look at Islam's systematic theology, political structure, worship rituals, and Islam's impact across the ages and the globe.

The book deftly uses this foundation to contrast Islam with Christianity, and more importantly, how Christians can use this foundation to dialogue with Muslims and introduce them to Christ Jesus (whom devout Muslims revere as a prophet).

Highly recommended.

Posted by: locomotivebreath1901 at May 01, 2016 09:46 AM (pwVOR)

60 How many cultures teach their children how to hate and kill when they are 4 years old?

====

Irish back in the day.

Posted by: Bigby's Knuckle Sandwich at May 01, 2016 09:47 AM (Cq0oW)

61
Funny one:

The Ginger Man--J.P. Donleavy.

Posted by: Libra at May 01, 2016 09:48 AM (GblmV)

62 Another funny book, if you loathe pretentious "literary" books that were jammed down your throat in high school/college, is Cold Comfort Farm. The film is also good but you miss the author's snarky comments. Also, it appears the idiot hippy-in-tune-with-nature types have existed in the wild since the 1920s at the very least. You will recognize the type, and the main character properly dismisses them. If I ever have a cow I will name it Feckless.

The General Danced at Dawn is indeed hilarious. I especially appreciated the 365th-some reel or whatever it was, having been a Scottish dancer in my misspent youth and thus having no difficulty whatsoever visualizing the *utter chaos* of the scene.

re: Markos Kloos, I wouldn't be too hard on him. If all you heard about Sad Puppies was from third (and biased) parties, and had your nomination "smeared" by association, you might take it amiss. From all I have heard he isn't a bad sort himself. He's not a SJW, at least.

Posted by: Sabrina Chase at May 01, 2016 09:50 AM (GG9V6)

63 Funny books?
While technically young adult in category, anything by Richard Peck is typically hilarious.
"A Year Down Yonder" and "Long Way from Chicago" are fantastic reads, also, make perfect books on tape for long family car drives. Everyone needs a little more Grandma Dowdel in their lives.

Posted by: Brave Sir Robin at May 01, 2016 09:51 AM (SeD0w)

64 The front page is crushing me. 1.2 gb and climbing plus20% cpu.

Posted by: Early formerly known as teh troll at May 01, 2016 09:51 AM (0+srV)

65 Basis of Christianity: Jesus was a peaceful perfect man of moderate means who gave up the material aspect of the world to become a man of no material wealth who eventually voluntarily allowed himself to be crucified on the cross to die and be our offering to God in exchange for forgiving our sins.

==

what? no.

Basis is Jesus is God incarnate. We all lucked out He was in a good mood that Epoch.

Posted by: Bigby's Knuckle Sandwich at May 01, 2016 09:51 AM (Cq0oW)

66 Ah, got back from the store just in time.


Completed the Petabee Trilogy by Ann McCaffrey started it because Amazon had $1.99 special on the first book (alerted via Bookbub) Started Rides a Dread Legion: Book One of the Demonwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist but dropped it half way through the book. It just got too boring. I am glad it was another $1.99 special. Now working on Outlaws and Peace Officers: Memoirs of Crime and Punishment by Stephen Brennan. This is a collection of stories of the old west about outlaws and the law officers who went after them. Basically it is a compilation of interviews of old western characters and thus it is not really a history and it is not very well written. I got it for $1.99 after a notification from Bookbub. It is now back up to $9.99. I do not recommend it at that price.


Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at May 01, 2016 09:52 AM (vvmPQ)

67 I think perfect strongly implies God.

Posted by: Early formerly known as teh troll at May 01, 2016 09:52 AM (0+srV)

68 ... and Oregon Muse is afraid he'll run out of material!

So, people! Send him tips early in the week and trigger more of this...Good Stuff!



My intention was to go to Walmart this morning and buy food. That’s not going to happen today, not when I wake up feeling hungover and didn’t go drinking the night before. This slow death by old age really sucks.

So, two points. First, ‘Strategy Six Packs’ as a search term on Amazon for eBooks will bring up about eleven bundles of old stuff from the 1800s; stuff that went out of copyright and into the public domain, and some enterprising entrepreneur hoovered it all up and republished it all as an Amazon Kindle eBook. It reads like scholarly works by proper English Gentlemen doing field research, and is enlightening in many ways. They sell for 99 cents which is within my price range. I’m currently reading about the native peoples of Borneo who decorate their verandas with the heads of their enemies, and the suppression of pirates. (Haven’t gotten to the pirates yet.) There is one on Joan of Arc that I want to read since I modeled one of my characters in the second half of my second book (Wolf Hunters : Transitions) on her; hears the voice of God, performs miracles, leads troops in battle. I have a lot of fun rewriting the old myths as if they actually happened to modern day people. You will also get Strategies for Six Pack Abs which is another topic.

Secondly, once you have this kind of stuff in your Kindle library, Amazon and Goodreads will search out and offer more of it to you. As Oregon Muse mentions above, (Kindle Recommend for You) and Goodreads will use your likes to offer up related works once you have loaded your Amazon book purchases into their database and after you have rated what you have read. Perhaps one book on Borneo headhunters is enough for you, or having read something on the Boer War you don’t have the time to rehash the old battles. Goodreads does have a check box for ‘no more like this’ but you have to watch for it, it is difficult to find.

And finally, views change over time, and what was commonly accepted conventional wisdom of the early 1800s might not be accepted by current standards of some in modern fields of science. Historians don’t agree on what actually happened, or why, back in olden times either.

In one of these ‘Strategy Six Packs’ bundles an opinion on infantry tactics is offered when tightly grouped columns of men marching onto the field of battle was a good sound tactic in 1865, but thirty years later in South Africa massed columns of infantry or cavalry were widely dispersed to lessen the casualty count from artillery fire and machine guns. Churchill, in his letters from the Boer War, mentions the need for individuals taking individual action on the battlefield and suggests that in future wars, those wars will be fought by individuals, not mass formations of troops.

And speaking of war, Jerry Pournelle has published several, ten is the current count I think, anthologies of science fiction military stories under the title of "There will be War". I have mixed feelings, having read a few of them; he rejected one of my short stories saying it didn’t meet his needs or some such. I have several of his books (Prince of Sparta, Go tell it to the Spartans, Lucifer’s Hammer, Footfall, Falkenberg’s Legion 1-4) and enjoyed them all.

Gordon R Dickenson wrote a series of military sci-fi about the Dorsi which I thought were very good. He wrote a lot of other stuff that I didn’t know about.

and so... to the sauna, to get over this fricken headache.

Posted by: Skandia Recluse at May 01, 2016 09:52 AM (FTiOD)

69
The front page is crushing me. 1.2 gb and climbing plus20% cpu.
Posted by: Early formerly known as teh troll at May 01, 2016 09:51 AM (0+srV)


Sounds like you need an ad blocking program and to turn off Javascript. I'm on an iPhone and am not having problems. Horde members can recommend remedies.

Posted by: Krebs v Carnot: Epic Battle of the Cycling Stars (TM) at May 01, 2016 09:54 AM (BK3ZS)

70 I hate to block ads here. I suppose I could donate and upgrade to the premium service!

Posted by: Early formerly known as teh troll at May 01, 2016 09:55 AM (0+srV)

71 I came across some timely political fiction, President Donald Loch Ness Trump Pounds America's Butt by Chuck Tingle. OM was kind enough to mention some other of Mr. Tingle's work:

Space Raptor Butt Invasion
Feeling The Bern In My Butt
Oppressed In The Butt By My Inclusive Holiday Coffee Cups
Slammed In The Butthole By My Concept Of Linear Time

His genre is butt literature.

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks at May 01, 2016 09:57 AM (Nwg0u)

72 I'm a bit of a magazine freak and this was a good week. Got the latest copies of 'Muzzleloader Magazine' and 'Woodcarving Illustrated'. I don't get as many magazines as I used to but these two and 'Backwoodsman' and 'Fly Tyer' are kept and re-read all the time. History, projects (practical and therapeutic), and relaxed reading are part of the appeal. They are worth the shelf space.

Posted by: JTB at May 01, 2016 09:58 AM (V+03K)

73 If you want funny, try collections of Tom Wolfe's essays like "From Bauhaus to Our House" and "Mauve Gloves and Madmen, Clutter and Vine".

Posted by: All Hail Eris, Literate Savage at May 01, 2016 09:59 AM (jR7Wy)

74
Skandia Recluse, I may have asked this before, but do you live in the vicinity of Skandia, Michigan?

Posted by: Krebs v Carnot: Epic Battle of the Cycling Stars (TM) at May 01, 2016 09:59 AM (BK3ZS)

75 The principle reason Islam spread so rapidly across the Middle East and
Africa was because of the passive nature of Christianity. It met no
resistance. Charles Martell was the first serious opposition.


Nuts. The Byzantine Empire did put up a fight (Battle of the Yarmuk Valley, anyone?) and eventually stopped the Arabs at the gates of Constinople itself, but was hampered by being in disarray and exhausted by a long, bloody war with the Sassanians (who were as warlike as one could wish but were conquered anyway for much the same reasons).

The Sudanese Christians walloped the Muslims when they tried to push south from Egypt some years prior to Martel, BTW. Very little out there about that campaign, though. I can't even remember the name of the battle, though IIRC it was a very bloody several days in which the Sudanese bowmen proved quite effective.

Posted by: Grey Fox at May 01, 2016 09:59 AM (bZ7mE)

76 JTB it's a shame you don't live next door to me.

Posted by: Skip at May 01, 2016 10:01 AM (PFZvJ)

77 The home grown jihadist threat is not overblown. In fact, it is the opposite. Arrests and cases are happening all the time but we just dont hear about it.

I follow these 2 twitter feeds for updates:

Program On Extremism
@gwupoe
@SeamusHughes

Seamus is very good.

Posted by: Bruce With a Wang! at May 01, 2016 10:01 AM (iQIUe)

78 And now Paris is the Beirut of Europe.

Posted by: Thirdtwin at May 01, 2016 10:01 AM (Ixl7R)

79 re: Markos Kloos, I wouldn't be too hard on him. If all you heard about Sad Puppies was from third (and biased) parties, and had your nomination "smeared" by association, you might take it amiss. From all I have heard he isn't a bad sort himself. He's not a SJW, at least.
Posted by: Sabrina Chase at May 01, 2016 09:50 AM (GG9V6)


Eh, he's seeking affirmation from the very folks (GRRM included) who who were relentless in the smearing by association.

Posted by: Jeff Weimer at May 01, 2016 10:03 AM (OR5cC)

80 Basis of Islam: Muhammad was an extremely violent imperfect man who...

Describes so many other icons in the Leftist universe.



Posted by: t-bird at May 01, 2016 10:04 AM (w/iDp)

81 PJ Orourke also needs to be mentioned in LOL funny. "CEO of the Sofa" and "Give War a Chance" are high on the list.

Posted by: Brave Sir Robin at May 01, 2016 10:04 AM (SeD0w)

82 Funny books - anything by PG Wodehouse. Evelyn Waugh is also a funny writer. Not all of his books are humorous, but Scoop and Put Out More Flags made me laugh out loud. The Alexander McCall Smith's series that starts with Portuguese Irregular Verbs is hilarious, and even better if you get the audiobook.

This week I've been getting caught up on Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs mystery series. This is a series that holds up, and I like that the author is moving things along towards the start of WW2.

Posted by: biancaneve at May 01, 2016 10:04 AM (sjq9T)

83 78 Brussels might be the better odds, being split between political/nationality factions it would seem to be up for grabs who wants to control it.

Posted by: Skip at May 01, 2016 10:04 AM (PFZvJ)

84 Fantastic post, Open Blogger! Thank you.

Posted by: Duncanthrax the Geek at May 01, 2016 10:05 AM (OF/aZ)

85 I'm thinking that the Paris of the Middle East period was pretty short. Basically from WWI until the 50's. I know that Father928 flew is Globemaster into Beruit in Operation Bluebat (collecting his VFW credit), so it was already troubled and rift by sectarian violence in 1958.

Posted by: Grump928(C) says Free Soothie! at May 01, 2016 10:05 AM (rwI+c)

86 Krebs v Carnot @74

Yes. Ten miles south, ten plus or minus something.

Posted by: Skandia Recluse at May 01, 2016 10:05 AM (FTiOD)

87 Sorry, OregonMuse, I didn't see your nic at the top. Great way to start the day!

Posted by: Duncanthrax the Geek at May 01, 2016 10:06 AM (OF/aZ)

88 And now Paris is the Beirut of Europe.
heh. I have zero desire to visit continental Europe.

Posted by: Brave Sir Robin at May 01, 2016 10:06 AM (SeD0w)

89 @SeamusHughes

Seamus is very good.


*****

No relation.

Posted by: Seamus Muldoon at May 01, 2016 10:06 AM (mvenn)

90 grey fox has the right of it - in no way was Christendom pacifist. Monks were, sure. Christian lands were not.

as for Islam's spread, remember that at the time islam was only one mostly remote and oddball enemy of Christianity. they had their hands full with Vikings, Saxons, heretics, etc

Posted by: Bigby's Knuckle Sandwich at May 01, 2016 10:06 AM (Cq0oW)

91 g'mornin', 'rons

Posted by: AltonJackson at May 01, 2016 10:10 AM (KCxzN)

92 Fantastic post, Open Blogger!

If it says 'Open Blogger' at the bottom, their name is up top in brackets. And I agree, this was an especially good one, OregonMuse.

Posted by: t-bird at May 01, 2016 10:11 AM (RrDm2)

93 That many have done so throughout the history of the Church (and in the name of Christ) is to our shame, not glory.


If you study those wars closely you will find that other than specifically taking back former Christin lands from the muzzies who took them over those wars were really about conquest for greed. They just used religion as an excuse that did not really bear up to scrutiny. The 4th crusade is a good example.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at May 01, 2016 10:11 AM (vvmPQ)

94 88
I have zero desire to visit continental Europe.
Posted by: Brave Sir Robin at May 01, 2016 10:06 AM (SeD0w)


I've never been there, but anyone who wants to go better do it soon before the cathedrals are converted to mosques and the museums are torched.

Posted by: rickl at May 01, 2016 10:11 AM (sdi6R)

95 "Of course, Obama has pretty much peed it all away, which is something that even Jimmy Carter was unable to do."

Well, back then we were smart enough as a nation not to give Carter a second term to complete the job.

Posted by: Formerly known as Skeptic at May 01, 2016 10:11 AM (QE7sO)

96 Funny books? Terry Pratchett. Better than Wodehouse, in my opinion.

Posted by: OregonMuse at May 01, 2016 10:12 AM (e8ge6)

97 BTW, there is some evidence that the fellow (Eude? Something like that) who ruled Aquitaine in the 720s/30s may have done a quite a bit, perhaps even the lion's share, to stop the Muslims, but got ignored in the official Frankish histories because he wasn't the grandfather of the man who ended up being crowned Emperor and because Aquitaine was sort of semi-independent at the time (the Aquitainians weren't Frankish ethnically and weren't necessarily happy at being part of the Carolingian Empire, so no heroes for them, lest they get ideas.... )

Posted by: Grey Fox at May 01, 2016 10:12 AM (bZ7mE)

98 Fro some funny books check out the Wis Biz series by Rick Cook. The first time I read those books I laughed my ass off.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at May 01, 2016 10:13 AM (vvmPQ)

99 That should be Wiz Biz

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at May 01, 2016 10:13 AM (vvmPQ)

100
Alas, Umm Isa al Amrikiah and her husband Isa Amriki are no more. Their house was turned into rubble. Ummmmmmm, was an American and an ISIS recruiter. She liked to post photos of her little pink hand weights next to her firearms. She urged jihadis to attack in their home countries. Guess, allah recruited her right into hell...

https://goo.gl/GeWQ4F

Posted by: Bruce With a Wang! at May 01, 2016 10:14 AM (iQIUe)

101 People glibly talk about the Protestant Reformation as though it was an easy or inevitable thing. Not even close. First, it required a politically powerful group (the northern European mini-states) that were sick of Italian domination; it also required a notable lack of military power (at the time) by those same Italians. So, they could get away with it, for a while.

Eventually, the empires and dynasties of the day got involved in the fight, culminating in the 30 years war. Only AFTER approximately 30% - 40% of the population of central Europe was killed in a war that in same ways was as bad, or worse, than WW2, did everyone finally agree to the status quo, and accept that the reformation was here to stay.

So, if history is a guide, the best you can say is that perhaps Muslim reform may take hold after a war that eliminates 30% - 40% of the current population in middle east. But there's no guarantee; it's just as likely that the muslim religion will go the same way as mithraism, zoroastrianism, manicheism, and any other number of once wide-spread but now vanished religions of the past. (yeah, there's still a handful of believers of some of those around, but they are curiosities, not world forces)

Saying that Islam can't die because its' been around 1300 years is like saying a man won't die because he's been around for 90 years or so. Everything dies.

Posted by: Tom Servo at May 01, 2016 10:16 AM (V2Yro)

102 98 Fro some funny books check out the Wis Biz series by Rick Cook. The first time I read those books I laughed my ass off.
Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at May 01, 2016 10:13 AM (vvmPQ)


Cook also did that "Wizardry Compiled" series about a computer geek who gets sucked into a magic-rich universe and uses software engineering/programming techniques to write spells and becomes a mighty wizard. Fun books.

Posted by: OregonMuse at May 01, 2016 10:18 AM (e8ge6)

103 Funny books I've read were "Cat's Cradle" by Kurt Vonnegut and "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams. The first 20-30 pages of "Hitchhiker" had me gasping for breath.

Posted by: rickl at May 01, 2016 10:18 AM (sdi6R)

104 Is there a Doctor in the House? My Blood Sugar is 111. Take my long acting Insulin or not?

The Nurse Help Line isn't answering right now.

Posted by: Tim in Illinois. Where's my Coffee!! at May 01, 2016 10:19 AM (WVsWD)

105 Everything dies.

===

Nuh-uh!

- Catholics and Orthodox everywhere

Posted by: Bigby's Knuckle Sandwich at May 01, 2016 10:20 AM (Cq0oW)

106 One of my bin-store kids book finds was Mosby, Grey Ghost of the Confederacy, but Johathan Daniels (1959)

It is a very well rounded over-view of Mosby's background, military career, and a short review of his life after the war.

(it is not available on Amazon, Does Ace have an AbeBooks store?)

Oddly enough, H. Beam Piper also wrote about Mosby, Rebel Raider, focusing on his use of cavalry for the tactic of maneuver and firepower to tie up resources in the rear of the Union forces, and vignettes illustrating how he operated (mentioning that his grandfather had been part of the force trying to protect the railroads from Mosby's guerilla actions)

He also points out that one of his proteges a just-graduated George S Patton

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/19194


Very interesting man, I will have to get the autobiography now

(Oh, and a review of Johnathan Daniels shows he was from NC, fairly prolific on history books, his father was the Secretary of the Navy during WWI, and Daniels was also FDR's last press secretary)

Posted by: Kindltot at May 01, 2016 10:20 AM (dxOfa)

107
I find it useful to listen to podcasts now when I have other chores to do.

I am about halfway through Robin Pierson's The History of Byzantium (thehistoryofbyzantium.com).

I began with Mike Duncan's The History of Rome (thehistoryofrome.typepad.com) and continued with his Revolutions series. So far he's done the English, American, French and Haitian revolutions; the revolutions of South America in the 1800s are up next.

I started and at some point will return to The British History Podcast by Jamie Jeffers (www.thebritishhistorypodcast.com). His style was initially offputting to me ("Isn't it interesting that women and little people play a role in history, too?" is a rough paraphrasing), but the story itself won me over. He started with pre-Roman Britain and is only now up to 865 AD and 199 episodes so, yes, he does go into some detail.

All these providers, like AoSHQ, do appreciate a donation from time to time.

Posted by: Krebs v Carnot: Epic Battle of the Cycling Stars (TM) at May 01, 2016 10:21 AM (BK3ZS)

108 Funny books - I'll second the Florence King recommendation. "Southern Ladies and Gentlemen is great", as is "WASP, Where Is Thy Sting". I have the Florence King Reader, which also includes "When Sisterhood Was In Flower", a ridiculous story about feminists. King herself was a conservative feminist (read: right-wing old maid/lesbian), misanthrope and contrarian, kind of a Mencken type.

Also, seconds on Wodehouse, although my favorite is "Psmith, Journalist". The Blandings Castle stories are fun as well.

Of course Fraser's Flashman novels. The first one isn't as laugh-out-loud funny as the later ones; it's more focused on establishing the background and character. After that, though, it's utter madness, with great 19th century history thrown in for free.

Currently reading "Doctors, Diviners, and Magicians of Ancient China: Biographies of Fang-shih" by Kenneth DeWoskin, which I found at a university library book sale. It's translations of biographies from official Imperial histories (History of the Later Han, Records of the Three Kingdoms, History of the Chin). An academic book, and I just got through the long introduction, but the stories look like they will be a lot of fun.

Posted by: Plum Duff (formerly lurker_above) at May 01, 2016 10:22 AM (MWN1Y)

109 On your topic of Islam and jihad, I have a book on my shelf, so far unread: Unholy Terror, Bosnia, Al-Qaida, and the Rise of Global Jihad, by John Schindler.

I bought it because a year or so ago the topic of young Bosnian males, parts of very Americanized families, were joining overseas, or trying to join overseas jihadist movements.

It was perplexing everyone here locally (there is a very large Bosnian community in St. Louis), and this book is supposed to answer a lot of those same questions. And pissing off a lot of people in the process.

If anyone else has already read it, I would appreciate a review.

Posted by: BurtTC at May 01, 2016 10:23 AM (Dj0WE)

110 You guys are great. I've got a full page of suggestions for humorous reading. Thank you all so much.

Muldoon, I respect you enough that I may tackle "Little Big Man" again. I bailed out of "Watership Down" the first time I read it, went back four years later, picked it up again and couldn't put it down.

Posted by: creeper at May 01, 2016 10:24 AM (ghfOx)

111 He said he remains in touch with his younger brother, who has reported doing well for himself with ISIS and having multiple wives. He sends home $500 a month and promised to buy the family a house if he's still alive next year. The man said his younger brother was never religious and had joined ISIS because it seemed like a good chance to make a living. "He didnt go to college [in Tunisia], and he tried to get a visa to move to Europe, but he didnt have any luck. He was just smoking weed and doing drugs," the older brother said by phone from Tunisia. "We refused this idea [of joining ISIS] at the beginning, but now we dont ask him to come back. We just say to take care and send us photos of your kids."

https://goo.gl/GtStzi

=============

I call bullshite. Even when ISIS was doing well, there wd not be $500 a month to send home with wives and children. Now, they have cut payments to fighters drastically.

Posted by: Bruce With a Wang! at May 01, 2016 10:24 AM (iQIUe)

112 I read Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain, and I thought it was funny.

Here is where I read it:
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/102/102-h/102-h.htm

I spose they's some kind of new fangle eeee version or sumnanother.

Posted by: Early at May 01, 2016 10:25 AM (0+srV)

113
PJ O'Rourke

I really liked his A Parliament of Whores, from which his description of the ineptitude of Audi drivers "Joe Boat Foot" and "Betty Dumb Toes" was seared into my memory.

Posted by: Krebs v Carnot: Epic Battle of the Cycling Stars (TM) at May 01, 2016 10:25 AM (BK3ZS)

114 anyways

we'd be lucky if the Islamic world went 30 years war like I think. although one could argue Lebanon already is there.

what's needed is both a richelieu and a wallenstein

Posted by: Bigby's Knuckle Sandwich at May 01, 2016 10:26 AM (Cq0oW)

115 102 Cook also did that "Wizardry Compiled" series about a
computer geek who gets sucked into a magic-rich universe and uses
software engineering/programming techniques to write spells and becomes a
mighty wizard. Fun books.


Posted by: OregonMuse at May 01, 2016 10:18 AM (e8ge6)

That's the same series I'm talking about. That is the second book in the series, Wiz Biz is the first and second put together in a single book.

You can get Wiz Biz for the Kindle for $6.99. Books 3 and 4 are on Wiz Biz II. Book 6 was never finished due to heart problems.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at May 01, 2016 10:26 AM (vvmPQ)

116 30 years war. Only AFTER approximately 30% - 40% of the population of central Europe was killed in a war that in same ways was as bad, or worse, than WW2,

-
In a former life, I was a music major. I was taught that during and after the Thirty Years War, music changed in that composers were forced to write for smaller ensembles because the musicians were simply not available for larger works.

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks at May 01, 2016 10:26 AM (Nwg0u)

117 Help Fight SOJS (Sudden Onset Jihadi Syndrome)


Chemjeff is gonna mess himself when he reads this.

Posted by: Jay Guevara at May 01, 2016 10:28 AM (oKE6c)

118 I just read The Wanderer by Frances Burney because it appeared at #50 of this list of best British Novels of the 19th century (I've always felt my knowledge of the era of writing was shallow at best so I found the list and decided to just go).

http://tinyurl.com/zpm6jfk

Let's just say I wasn't impressed.

My review is on Goodreads here: http://tinyurl.com/jq8wxkk

Posted by: TheJamesMadison at May 01, 2016 10:28 AM (83laC)

119

So, in other words, he actually read the Qur'an for himself. Hmmm...

So the life story of a psychopathic, mass murdering, pedophile warlord gets worse as he gets older and draws in the violent, evil and stupid. Maybe we could have Tipper Gore require a warning label.

Posted by: DaveA at May 01, 2016 10:29 AM (DL2i+)

120 Life is too lousy to be reading short books.

Posted by: Insomniac at May 01, 2016 10:30 AM (0mRoj)

121 PJ Orourke also needs to be mentioned in LOL funny. "CEO of the Sofa" and "Give War a Chance" are high on the list.
Posted by: Brave Sir Robin at May 01, 2016 10:04 AM (SeD0w)


Yes, he is a hoot. I've read most of his books, can't really say I have a favorite, but Parliament of Whores remains relevant today (and probably will to the end of time).


Personally, I don't tend to like the British humor dudes. Maybe it's not fair lumping all of them together, but my experience has been there is little difference between them. The dry wit, the silly slapstick, it all comes off so... British. Not for my tastes.

Posted by: BurtTC at May 01, 2016 10:31 AM (Dj0WE)

122 s there a Doctor in the House? My Blood Sugar is 111. Take my long acting Insulin or not?

-
Barring some extraordinary circumstance, 111 is not a bad reading.

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks at May 01, 2016 10:31 AM (Nwg0u)

123 I read a book once. Just to see how those things work.

Morning, Glories in the reading room!

Posted by: mindful webworker with funny bookmarks at May 01, 2016 10:31 AM (xkaSw)

124 Oh, and I can recommend a funny book for you all. "The Girl, the Gold Watch and Everything" by John D. MacDonald. Guy inherits a watch from his uncle that stops time. Finds uninhibited young lady. Hilarity ensues.

John D. MacDonald wrote hundreds of short stories and scores of novels. There wasn't a bad one in the lot.

Posted by: creeper at May 01, 2016 10:32 AM (ghfOx)

125 One of the exasperating things about Islam is that often, immigrants will try to assimilate into a society and become upstanding citizens who are Muslim In Name Only, but then their children get radicalized.

Posted by: rickl at May 01, 2016 10:32 AM (sdi6R)

126 So, in other words, he actually read the Qur'an for himself. Hmmm...
So the life story of a psychopathic, mass murdering, pedophile warlord gets worse as he gets older and draws in the violent, evil and stupid.

-
Couldn't they just see Heath Ledger as the Joker? Basically the same thing and it wastes less time.

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks at May 01, 2016 10:34 AM (Nwg0u)

127 Still reading "Box of Sand," about the Italo-Ottoman War of 1911-1912 on the recommendation of sexypig. It's a little slow going, only because it was printed in a small font that I'm having a little trouble reading.

Posted by: Josephistan at May 01, 2016 10:34 AM (7qAYi)

128 I may tackle "Little Big Man" again. I bailed out of "Watership Down" the first time I read it, went back four years later, picked it up again and couldn't put it down.
Posted by: creeper at May 01, 2016 10:24 AM (ghfOx)

****

If you do I hope you like it. It may just not be your type of humor. I probably do see some similarities with The Curious Disappearance of Seamus Muldoon. A series of implausible events. Jack Crabbe is a pretty decent non-hero.

Posted by: Seamus Muldoon at May 01, 2016 10:35 AM (mvenn)

129 126 So, in other words, he actually read the Qur'an for himself. Hmmm...
So the life story of a psychopathic, mass murdering, pedophile warlord gets worse as he gets older and draws in the violent, evil and stupid.

-
Couldn't they just see Heath Ledger as the Joker? Basically the same thing and it wastes less time.
Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks at May 01, 2016 10:34 AM (Nwg0u)

Hey now, the Joker was not a pedophile or a warlord.

Posted by: Insomniac at May 01, 2016 10:35 AM (0mRoj)

130 I really liked his A Parliament of Whores, from which his description of the ineptitude of Audi drivers "Joe Boat Foot" and "Betty Dumb Toes" was seared into my memory.

Posted by: Krebs v Carnot: Epic Battle of the Cycling Stars (TM) at May 01, 2016 10:25 AM (BK3ZS)


I have a copy of that book. My friend, Steve, picked it up for me at an O'Rourke book signing. I have no idea what he told P.J. when he handed it to him for the inscription (good old Steve does have a tendency to exaggerate for humorous effect where I am concerned), but it came back "H-- Sorry about Austria-Hungary. P.J. O'Rourke 6/21/91"

Anyway, I don't know if it was that book or Republican Party Reptile that coined the phrases "paddle-footed dinkwit" and "plushbottomed yoohoo", but they stuck with me and have remained in my repertoire of retorts ever since.

Posted by: HTL at May 01, 2016 10:35 AM (gVyJ+)

131 >>I've heard that there's actually quite a lot of scholarship cranked out
every year in the Islamic world. But it's all Qur'anic studies and
commentary.

Where is "Insight" magazine published?

Great post today, Oregon Muse!!

Posted by: Lizzy at May 01, 2016 10:35 AM (NOIQH)

132 So, in other words, he actually read the Qur'an for himself. Hmmm...
So the life story of a psychopathic, mass murdering, pedophile warlord gets worse as he gets older and draws in the violent, evil and stupid.

-
Couldn't they just see Heath Ledger as the Joker? Basically the same thing and it wastes less time.
Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks at May 01, 2016 10:34 AM (Nwg0u)

Hey! I never diddled any kids!

Posted by: The Joker at May 01, 2016 10:35 AM (7qAYi)

133 There is a Turkish author, Orhan Pamuk, who does a masterful job of contrasting the rigidness of Islamic ideology with the freedom necessary for art.

"My Name is Red" is where I started. I read a couple of others. Some are set back in the plague years, some are modern.

He's good enough that he's won (something) Awards and is also under all kinds of death threats.

Posted by: Bandersnatch at May 01, 2016 10:40 AM (1xUj/)

134 An utraquistic subterfuge is apparently when you give them wine and the bread at the same time, but they don't really perceive it. I learned that today in a book.

Posted by: Early at May 01, 2016 10:40 AM (0+srV)

135 Thanks for the kind words, Lizzy. Also thanks to Duncanthrax.

Posted by: OregonMuse at May 01, 2016 10:42 AM (e8ge6)

136 has anyone read Silence by Shusaku Endo? seems like a light read LOL

Posted by: Bigby's Knuckle Sandwich at May 01, 2016 10:43 AM (Cq0oW)

137 After reading some biographic material about Montaigne, I started reading some of the Essays. Interesting stuff, to put it very mildly. Even though I'm just at the beginning, I can see how later readers could try to use them as an "authority" for whatever approach they want to take: humanism (i.e., anti-religion), the noble savage, cultural equivalences, importance of the individual, and importance of the state or state authority. They seem to forget that Montaigne was not writing about the human condition, he was writing about Montaigne's condition. That individuals can see images of themselves in his work is fun and, maybe, revelatory, but it wasn't his purpose from what I can tell. But it is enjoyable reading and gives glimpses into the culture he lived with.

I wonder if his sanctuary, a tower of the chateau set aside for its view of the estate, his books, writing, and relaxation, inspired the round reading area Thomas Jefferson built at Monticello. I saw it in touring Monticello and could happily spend several hours there every day.

Posted by: JTB at May 01, 2016 10:44 AM (V+03K)

138 Link to Nate Silver 538 poll on the right of the AoSHQ home page says: "According to our latest polls-plus forecast, Ted Cruz has a 61% chance of winning the Indiana primary." [Y-not]"

This needs updating. Nate now says Trump has a 69% chance in "Polls plus" which is when Nate puts his fingers on the scale, and a 94% chance in "polls only."

Trump is now on a glide path to 1,400.



Posted by: Ignoramus at May 01, 2016 10:46 AM (bQxkN)

139 Reread Nemesis Games (#5 in The Expanse). It may be just me but some of the dialog now reads specifically like a script for the particular actors in the TV series.

Posted by: DaveA at May 01, 2016 10:46 AM (DL2i+)

140 Well..not really a book, but it has words and is in print form...the funniest book I've read is something called The U.S. Constitution. It's written in some funny language and talks about something or other...I couldn't really follow it, and I have the best brain. Haarable story...just harrable.

Posted by: Donald Trump at May 01, 2016 10:47 AM (aRUb8)

141 Has there ever been an Islamic equivalent of Anabaptism, or, more precisely a non-resistant movement. (In other words people who prefer death to killing)?

Could be wrong but I don't believe so.

Posted by: Northernlurker at May 01, 2016 10:47 AM (4rzL1)

142 The principle reason Islam spread so rapidly across the Middle East and Africa was because of the passive nature of Christianity. It met no resistance. Charles Martell was the first serious opposition.

Posted by: Mike K at May 01, 2016 09:40 AM (5namt)


I would argue that it was the isolated, independent manorial system of the early dark ages, that was a result of the collapse of the Roman empire's economic and military web. Though each nucleus (polity) became self sufficient and began competing against each other, like the Roman story of the bundle of sticks, they could not unite to resist together they were broken one by one.

Remember, the Islamic states and the Eastern European states were gobbled up militarily by the Mongols in turn for the very same reason, even with lots of warning.

I don't think it was passivity, I think it was shallowness of resource base and narrowness of the defense. Charles Martel resolved that, as did the Spanish and Portuguese to some degree. (Martel also developed the estates system of raising both knights and their horses, Ruy Diaz, de Bivar, el Cid, took advantage of the fractured political landscape time and time again. And fell prey to it in the end.) Christianity was one of the uniting forces, though.

Once again, I always encourage people to read Jesus Huerta de Soto for economics.

Posted by: Kindltot at May 01, 2016 10:48 AM (dxOfa)

143 Hey! I never diddled any kids!

Posted by: The Joker at May 01, 2016 10:35 AM (7qAYi)


Did someone say "Diddle kids??"

Posted by: Harry Reid at May 01, 2016 10:48 AM (aRUb8)

144 "has anyone read Silence by Shusaku Endo? seems like a light read LOL"

It's a Marty Scorsese movie coming out in November, with Liam Neeson.

Posted by: Ignoramus at May 01, 2016 10:49 AM (bQxkN)

145 I could fit that entire library in my pants, and still walk past DC security like a boss.

Posted by: Zombie Sandy 'The Stuffer' Berger at May 01, 2016 10:49 AM (CUk0C)

146 Yes, he is a hoot. I've read most of his books, can't really say I have a favorite


I do. I mean I pretty much love everything PJ, but I'll take "Holidays in Hell".

The conceit is that he goes to war zones (the Green Line in Beirut, it's dated) and North Korea and other absolute shitholes and reports on them as a travel reporter.

Also he drinks at bars with actual foreign correspondents a lot.

Posted by: Bandersnatch at May 01, 2016 10:51 AM (1xUj/)

147 " Anabaptism, or, more precisely a non-resistant movement."

It's interesting tracing the ancestry of the VIA clan.

Straight to, and thru the Anabaptist movement in Switzerland.

Strong Brethren presence and history on the U.S. side of the journey.

Posted by: Village Idiot's Apprentice at May 01, 2016 10:51 AM (ptqRm)

148 Trump is now on a glide path to 1,400.









Posted by: Ignoramus at May 01, 2016 10:46 AM (bQxkN)


1400?!??....if I don't get at least 2378 I know I was cheated out of them by 'Lyin Ted.

Posted by: Donald Trump at May 01, 2016 10:51 AM (aRUb8)

149 The difference between description and prescription.

description: "This violent thing happened."
prescription: "Go do this violent thing and bellow 'allahu ackbar' while you're doing it."

Are we learning yet?

Posted by: CrustyB at May 01, 2016 10:54 AM (Hnglq)

150 Okay, when you see al Amrikiah or Amriki or al-Amrikee in a terrorist name, it means they are American. Good to know.

Here's a home grown nut I have never heard of before. 20 years old and doing 25 years in prison. Arrested while trying to board a plane to Somali with his infant son. He's in prison, mom deported to Uganda, kid with his lesbian mother and he is having a fit. Sure hope grandma doesnt raise him as a muslim. This kid came from an upper class family, too.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zachary_Adam_Chesser

Posted by: Bruce With a Wang! at May 01, 2016 10:56 AM (iQIUe)

151 I got a new cover designed for my first novel Snowberry's Veil and I think its a lot better than the old one. Here's what she looks like now:

http://alphawolf10.wix.com/kestrelarts2#!snowberry/c1hqc

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at May 01, 2016 10:58 AM (39g3+)

152 Wow. Lookit all those Korans!

Posted by: naturalfake at May 01, 2016 09:11 AM (oU3Bb)


Yeah, that library really doesn't look like much, does it? I mean, for a "national" library that you'd think should present the best books and scholarship that the country has to offer. That photo looks like a modest academic library, like you'd find in a 2nd-tier state college.

Or an SEC school.

( *ducks and runs* )

Posted by: OregonMuse at May 01, 2016 10:58 AM (e8ge6)

153 Has there ever been an Islamic equivalent of Anabaptism, or, more precisely a non-resistant movement. (In other words people who prefer death to killing)?

====

al-Hallaj. killed for apostasy of course.

Posted by: Bigby's Knuckle Sandwich at May 01, 2016 10:59 AM (Cq0oW)

154 And here are more home grown terrorists:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolution_Muslim

Note how terrorists consider Ft Hood a terrorist act and not workplace violence. Again, these guys are upper middle class Americans and one is even, sob, a Jew.

Posted by: Bruce With a Wang! at May 01, 2016 10:59 AM (iQIUe)

155 And note how the left and gov continually tries to minimize terrorism.

Posted by: Bruce With a Wang! at May 01, 2016 11:00 AM (iQIUe)

156 Changing a persons mind is not always about educating with facts (what they think and know) , but changing how they think.

A lot harder, and sometimes impossible.


Precisely. The issue at hand is not raw data but the presuppositions which they see the world through. For a leftist, when they see 2+2=4, they see that through a worldview that breaks everything down by oppressors and the oppressed and presumes everyone is basically equally noble.

So if Johnny is great at math and Mubanga isn't, that's because Johnny stole from Mubanga and is oppressing him.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at May 01, 2016 11:00 AM (39g3+)

157 imma see that ignoramus. thanks. hope its decent

Posted by: Bigby's Knuckle Sandwich at May 01, 2016 11:00 AM (Cq0oW)

158 145 I could fit that entire library in my pants, and still walk past DC security like a boss.

Posted by: Zombie Sandy 'The Stuffer' Berger at May 01, 2016 10:49 AM (CUk0C)


I LOLed.

Posted by: OregonMuse at May 01, 2016 11:01 AM (e8ge6)

159 Posted by: OregonMuse at May 01, 2016 10:58 AM (e8ge6)

I'll have you know all our books are in pristine condition!

You hear me? Pristine!

Posted by: SEC libarians at May 01, 2016 11:01 AM (pxMbm)

160 Seems t'me there's two types who "finally read the Koran."

The ones, like Nabeel Qureshi, who discover it's full of violence and hate and are appalled...

And those Sudden Onset Jihadis who discover it's full of violence and hate and decide to reflect that in their lives.

In either case, consensus seems t'be, it's full of violence and hate. Yeah, hard to "reform" something like that - what's left after the reformation is like dehydrated water.

Watched a video the other day by a fellow who left Islam after he started reading about what it really taught.
[Ah, here it is at BlazingCatFur: http://bit.ly/1TDA34v ]
He also rejected all religion because of what he considered mythical stuff like the story of Noah. Sad when folks can't find the baby of faith for the murky bathwater of dubious doctrines, but better a discouraged but peaceful unbeliever than a devout and murderous fanatic!

The Basics of Islam 2: Robert Spencer on Is Islam A Religion of Peace?
https://youtu.be/enN8rvNAC8U

Posted by: mindful webworker had a thought once at May 01, 2016 11:02 AM (xkaSw)

161 Greetings:

Once again, Islam is nothing more than the globalization of 7th Century A.D. predatory Arab tribal culture under a thin veneer of religion. And if your plan doesn't include constraining, undermining, or eradicating Islam itself, you don't have a plan. What you have is a hope.

Military History recommendation: "Bad Hand: A Biography of Ranald Slidell MacKenzie" by Charles M. Robinson III. Not great literature in the reading sense, but the story of a young Civil War hero who went on to have a major impact in the post-war indian campaigns and whose life is somewhat reflected in the John Ford/John Wayne movie "Rio Grande".

Posted by: 11B40 at May 01, 2016 11:02 AM (evgyj)

162 Off libarian sock

Posted by: weirdflunkyonatablet at May 01, 2016 11:03 AM (pxMbm)

163 A little off topic but reading and Oregon Muse related. I'll be reading some basic chess books this week. I really want to engage some Horde members on Chess.com in a game in a week or so. But I want to last at least ten moves, hence reviewing the basics. It would be a learning opportunity for me and provide humor for my opponent.

Posted by: JTB at May 01, 2016 11:04 AM (V+03K)

164 I'll have you know all our books are in pristine condition!
You hear me? Pristine!

Posted by: SEC libarians at May 01, 2016 11:01 AM (pxMbm)


I assume yours is a part-time job.

Posted by: OregonMuse at May 01, 2016 11:05 AM (e8ge6)

165 According to the latest NBC/Marist poll, Trump has opened up a +15 point lead in Indiana.

Posted by: mrp at May 01, 2016 11:08 AM (JBggj)

166 Skip: You're in for a treat. HMS Surprise is (in my opinion) the best of the Aubrey-Maturin series.

Posted by: Trimegistus at May 01, 2016 11:08 AM (Kdx3B)

167 Someone's probably brought this up already, but the main difference between the Bible and the Quaran is the Muslims believe the Quaran to be the direct word or God (Allah to them). Therefore, the change even a single word would be highly blasphemous. Who has the right to change the words of Allah? This is the main impediment to an Islamic reformation. Mohammed crafted the religion to displace all others (with force if necessary), and as with all things in Islam the religion checkmates you at every turn.

Posted by: KK at May 01, 2016 11:11 AM (3uDMa)

168 I wish to thank the Moron who posted a link to Chicken Soup for the Soul on the book thread several weeks back. I was inspired to write my first short story and have submitted it for the "Angels and Miracles" category.

This is a major step forward, not only for helping me to absorb the loss of my dear husband Tim, but also in the pursuit of my destiny as a writer.

Thanks again!

Posted by: Miley's Tongue at May 01, 2016 11:14 AM (bIGOo)

169 Islam definitely needs a reformation, but NOT a Reformation. It already has a Reformation in the Salafist and jihadist revival, from Wahabbism to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Remember that the chief driving force behind the Protestant Reformation was a return to original (Biblical) sources and a rejection of the worldiness of the Roman Church.

When the original sources are evil, the last thing we want is for people to go back to them. When worldliness means not killing apostates and letting your daughter learn to read, we want more of it.

Posted by: Margarita who wishes she drank more at May 01, 2016 11:14 AM (T/5A0)

170 "This is the main impediment to an Islamic reformation. "

This is not the first time that I have heard this stated.

And if is theologically correct, well, that do represent a problem, don't it?

Posted by: Village Idiot's Apprentice at May 01, 2016 11:15 AM (ptqRm)

171 "According to the latest NBC/Marist poll, Trump has opened up a +15 point lead in Indiana."

Glide path to 1,400, baby!

George Will has joined Ace in the #NeverNeverTrump camp by saying that All True Republicans have a duty to actively work against Trump after he's the nominee so that he loses in a 50 state Götterdämmerung so that GOP can refind its way.

All righty then.

Posted by: Ignoramus at May 01, 2016 11:15 AM (bQxkN)

172 For alternative history fans, the "Britannia's Fist" series by Peter Tsouras is pretty good reading.

The premise is that the United States, and, later, Imperial Russia confront a coalition of the Confederacy, the United Kingdom, and France during the Civil War.

Civil War becomes World War.

Posted by: mrp at May 01, 2016 11:15 AM (JBggj)

173 I'm reading the first "Redfall" book by Jay J. Falconer on kindle unlimited. Pretty engaging 80% through.

"Pretty Little Creatures" by Milam that votermom reviewed is pretty good also. It's engaging but a bit less serious, in a good way, than other books in the genre. I'm eagerly awaiting the third book.

Posted by: lindafell de spair at May 01, 2016 11:15 AM (xVgrA)

174 "whom devout Muslims revere as a prophet"

A common lie. Muslims "revere" Jesus the way that Christians "revere" Elijah or Isaiah. And they consider people who worship him as Christians would consider somone who worshipped Isaiah: deluded at best.

This is just another brainchild of the Big Lie that Islam is a religion of peace and we could all get along, really. The reality is that Muslims launched holy wars against Christianity as soon as the Arabian Peninsula was conquered and the Bedouin harnessed into a military force. You don't instill your soldiers with reverence for the inferior religion you are conquering.

Posted by: Apostate at May 01, 2016 11:15 AM (gpo0q)

175 "There are actually two slates, a Sad Puppy slate, and a Rabid Puppy slate, put together by Vox Day, which is a separate entity, even though there is a lot of overlap. You can read the full list in the Breitbart article I linked."

Worth noting that last year's Hugo's, where many deserving Puppy nominations got No Awarded, transformed many Sad Puppies into Rabid Puppies.

So the antiPuppy crowd that nominated If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love for a Hugo can now squirm on Space Raptor Butt Invasion.

Love is Real.

Posted by: ReactionaryMonster at May 01, 2016 11:17 AM (k2Hcx)

176 I hope the Dragon awards do well and take off. The best thing that could be done to the Hugos would be to turn them into an old, disregarded, and discredited waste of an author's time and interest. That would be justice, reducing the cackling leftist idiots to their own little incestual awards that have no meaning or status.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at May 01, 2016 11:18 AM (39g3+)

177 Islam's history since the fall of the Abbassid Caliphate has followed a depressing cycle:

1. Foreigners (first Mongols and Turks, then Christian Europeans) kick the Muslim's ass.

2. This provokes a "modernizing" impulse to be like the ass-kickers. (And in the past the ass-kickers often moved in and became Muslims, making it easier.)

3. The "modernizers" fail and become corrupt and useless, to boot.

4. This provokes a reaction to a "more pure form of Islam" which inevitably turns into "murder Jews and Christians and lash out in senseless aggression" because that's just what the Prophet did.

5. See step 1.

Posted by: Trimegistus at May 01, 2016 11:19 AM (Kdx3B)

178 I picked up Farewell My Lovely by Raymond Chandler on last week's recommendation.

I had been trying to force my way through some other book and I was taken by surprise just how well Chandler reads, and how delightful his prose is.

He uses long descriptive sentences, often two of them that are basically on the same pattern of timing of the "feet", followed by shorter, descriptive sentences that lay out specifics of the the scene that act as a check on the lyricism.

There is a lot of "quietness" in his descriptive prose. It is hard to describe, maybe a view of the world that it continues on in spite of the actions of the people in it.

Posted by: Kindltot at May 01, 2016 11:19 AM (dxOfa)

179 I've been reading an old Young Adult series by Brandon Sanderson - Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians. It turns out that the world as we know it is secretly run by a conspiracy made up of all of the librarians in the world (you didn't notice that the world 'librarian' starts with 'lie'?). The librarians have restricted our technological progress by saddling us with low-technology items like guns and automobiles instead of better items like swords and horses.

As you can probably tell from the above, the series is a silly, humourous series. In the afterword of the first book, Sanderson mentions that he started it after coming up with a bunch of absurd, off the wall ideas, and decided to just run with them. The original run of the books is long out of print, but Sanderson's current publisher is rereleasing them (they've released three of the original four) with new artwork (both inside the books and out). They're fairly light reading, suitable for pre-teens.

Posted by: junior at May 01, 2016 11:19 AM (fgd5X)

180 NYT Tom Freidman on Meet the Press: "We're one terrorist attack away from seeing President Trump."

Welcome to the party Hans.

Posted by: Ignoramus at May 01, 2016 11:20 AM (bQxkN)

181 Posted by: Margarita who wishes she drank more at May 01, 2016 11:14 AM (T/5A0)

*pours martini in USB port*

Posted by: rickl at May 01, 2016 11:21 AM (sdi6R)

182
Baraa - an arabic term meaning hatred for the sake of Allah of non muslims.

Posted by: Bruce With a Wang! at May 01, 2016 11:22 AM (iQIUe)

183 Humor: any of the "Retief" short stories by Kieth Laumer, all of which poke deft fun at the State Department smart set.

Anyone else know these?

Posted by: Piercello at May 01, 2016 11:23 AM (RXfvh)

184 Good points about the Muzzies needing a reformation and all that it will entail which will not be peaceful by any means.

Reform Muzzie killing Militant Muzzie.....if it is anything like the Protestant Reformation whoa boy! are we in for some hot times in the old mosque tonight.

Brings a smile to my face.

Posted by: Hairyback Guy at May 01, 2016 11:24 AM (ej1L0)

185 Or an SEC school.

True, not a soul in sight.

Posted by: t-bird at May 01, 2016 11:24 AM (9mTYi)

186 Krebs v Carnot: ...Sounds like you need an ad blocking program and to turn off Javascript....

Early #70: I hate to block ads here. I suppose I could donate and upgrade to the premium service!

I hate to do anything to thwart Ace's income, as well, but I'm afraid that sites which have ads requiring javascript shoot themselves (and me) in the foot. Just SOL.

Just like sites which require javascript just to see the text and image content, they're making simple things complex and safe things dangerous, defying the system's design, and losing me as a "customer." Simple image ads, no problem. Anything else, unseen.

/rant

Posted by: mindful webworker had an opinion there at May 01, 2016 11:24 AM (xkaSw)

187 Herewith a public apology to Pixy for all my previous grousing. This comment section may be bare bones and thoroughly intolerant but it loads like greased lightning.

Posted by: creeper at May 01, 2016 11:25 AM (ghfOx)

188 Someone's probably brought this up already, but the main difference between the Bible and the Quaran is the Muslims believe the Quaran to be the direct word or God (Allah to them). Therefore, the change even a single word would be highly blasphemous. Who has the right to change the words of Allah? This is the main impediment to an Islamic reformation. Mohammed crafted the religion to displace all others (with force if necessary), and as with all things in Islam the religion checkmates you at every turn.

Posted by: KK at May 01, 2016 11:11 AM (3uDMa)



This is exactly right.

If you're a believing muslim, who are you going to believe about your religion?

The direct word of god

or

some weedy little progtard gabbling about religion of peace and the true nature of islam?

It's not even a contest.

Posted by: naturalfake at May 01, 2016 11:25 AM (0cMkb)

189 @182: Can you spell that? Not heard of that word and trying to use dictionary on my phone.

Posted by: Apostate at May 01, 2016 11:26 AM (gpo0q)

190 It looks like Mrs. JTB and I will have more time for reading soon. We are seriously looking into getting rid of TV. With the latest price increase from Directv (about $1,500 a year and we don't have any premium packages), less and less to watch (I'm tired of zombies, and twenty-somethings and their never ending dramas), and a growing feeling that we are wasting too much time on unattractive, often repulsive, schlock, the time has come. The extremely little that appeals can be handled by VERY occasional streaming, a few DVDs, and an over the air antenna. Fortunately, radio coverage of Nats games is excellent.

This feels a little like telling the surgeon to go ahead and cut, but it is well past time.

Posted by: JTB at May 01, 2016 11:26 AM (V+03K)

191 Why are people (and yes, I know it's primarily one idiot; but there's been more than one person posting) posting political crap in the book thread?

Posted by: junior at May 01, 2016 11:28 AM (fgd5X)

192 Who has the right to change the words of Allah?

-
If it's anything like my house, Mrs. Allah.

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks at May 01, 2016 11:29 AM (Nwg0u)

193 Posted by: JTB at May 01, 2016 11:26 AM (V+03K)

I cut the cable three years ago. Got an antenna. It gets twelve stations. I saved $600. Shoulda done it sooner.

Posted by: creeper at May 01, 2016 11:30 AM (ghfOx)

194 «L'Arabe du futur» de Riad Sattouf.

Sometime during the early 1970s, a European married someone whose parents were living somewhere in greater western Syria, and the two had a blond-haired boy. Dad got a job in a North African hellhole, so moved there for a few years. The kid was sheltered from the worst of it, and thankfully moved back to a Western nation before the hellhole got REALLY bad.

... so you see why *I* jumped at this one. I needed something to improve my French anyway so, win-win. Riad's father is the Near Easterner in this family, in this case a secular Muslim from Syria; his mum is French. Their hellhole was Qkhaddafiy's Libya.

They get lodged in a house and are told that Qdfy, the supreme guide of the masses, has outlawed private property and that as a result the doors go unlocked. They then go for a stroll, and see no-one on the streets. On their return they find a family of four inhabiting their home. Surprise! If a door is unlocked in Libya, it's free for anyone to move in and claim it - until *they* screw up and leave the house unattended.

Also, rationing: crowds of smelly Libyans waiting to get whatever the supreme guide of the masses chooses to dole out that day. Men one day, women the next. (Algerians probably spent every morning on their knees thanking Allah they were not Libyans.)

The Supreme Guide eventually got around to making one too many decrees - I think the last straw was, let the peasants come in to teach in the university, let the professors go farm - so the family hoofed it back to France. Somewhere near Brittany; they speak French though, not that Cornish dialect. He's enrolled at a school which seems mainly to cater to the village idiots, perhaps because his multilingual experience has left him inept at the language. (Yeah this happened to me too...)

Since the father cannot get a job his next hellhole is Assad's Syria. I'm on this part now.

To sum up: excellent book to understand just how awful those 1980s Arab-nationalist regimes were, and why the Arabs hated them. If you get it in French it's helpful for learning that also.

Posted by: boulder terlit hobo at May 01, 2016 11:31 AM (6FqZa)

195 I cut the cable in 2012 and replaced it with nothing. I had largely quit watching TV a few years before. The only thing I miss is baseball, but I hadn't been following it that closely in recent years anyway.

I spend way too much time online, though.

Posted by: rickl at May 01, 2016 11:32 AM (sdi6R)

196 So the antiPuppy crowd that nominated If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love for a Hugo can now squirm on Space Raptor Butt Invasion.

Love is Real.
Posted by: ReactionaryMonster at May 01, 2016 11:17 AM (k2Hcx)
---
"Space Raptor Butt Invasion" is certainly Tingle's most accessible work, but is it as reflective of and chalenging to the Allosaurus/Anusaurus intersectionality as "Gay T-Rex Law Firm: Executive Boner"?

Posted by: All Hail Eris, Literate Savage at May 01, 2016 11:32 AM (jR7Wy)

197 Isn't the Koran the best political military manifesto ever?

Join us and you can (in fact you must) rape, plunder and kill the Other, and you'll feel good about it and receive an even bigger reward in the afterlife.

Even better than joining Hitler's Waffen-SS, no?

Posted by: Ignoramus at May 01, 2016 11:33 AM (bQxkN)

198 The way Islam could be reformed is related to several of its existing mechanisms.

Mullahs are able to state official changes to the religion through statements (in the same way the Pope can make ex cathedra statements which change Roman Catholic theology). Further, the Muslim religion has the concept of abrogation, which is a principle which says that later revelation supplants and replaces previous.

For example, Surah 2:109 states

"Out of their selfish envy, many among the followers of earlier revelation would like to bring you back to denying the truth after you have attained to faith - ]even] after the truth has become clear unto them. None the less, forgive and forbear, until God shall make manifest His will: behold, God has the power to will anything."

According to Muslim scholars, this has been abrogated by the later verse, Surah 9:29

"Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book [Christian and Jews], until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection."

So instead of "get along and forgive" it is now "dominate and oppress"

Thus, you could in theory have a movement which simply restated things so that the more peaceful and productive portions of Islam abrogated the more violent and awful ones, and Islam turns from a religion of conquest and oppression into one of peace and coexistence.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at May 01, 2016 11:33 AM (39g3+)

199 This feels a little like telling the surgeon to go ahead and cut, but it is well past time.

Posted by: JTB at May 01, 2016 11:26 AM (V+03K)


Congratulations. I applaud your decision.

Mrs. Muse and I have never ever paid one red cent for cable or satellite. We actually have an antenna attached to the back of our TV. But it's mostly for football, or other sporting events We never watch any network shows until maybe later on, when I can download them sans commercials and use my Roku box to access a server on my PC where all the video files are.

Pirate TV, baby!

Posted by: OregonMuse at May 01, 2016 11:33 AM (e8ge6)

200 George Will has joined Ace in the #NeverNeverTrump camp by saying that All True Republicans have a duty to actively work against Trump after he's the nominee so that he loses in a 50 state Gtterdmmerung so that GOP can refind its way.

All righty then.
Posted by: Ignoramus at May 01, 2016 11:15 AM (bQxkN)


As many have, I've read a ton of Will's writing. He's a smart guy, and a good writer. It sometimes has me scratching my head that so many people I used to think of as reliably conservative, even if/when I disagreed with them, and now solidly behind Gope.


I think Will and others are taking a very cynical path here: Much like South American shitholes, there are wealthy people who live in enclaves, while the masses, whom they exploit and disdain, live in squalor.


It's possible Will has decided America is not worth saving.


If that sounds harsh, I don't know how else to explain a Party that is inviting all those South American riffraff to come here and squat in this country, for free, with no possible hope of assimilating them to a way of life that honors this country and its founding principles.

Posted by: BurtTC at May 01, 2016 11:35 AM (Dj0WE)

201 Humor: any of the "Retief" short stories by Kieth Laumer, all of which poke deft fun at the State Department smart set.

I love the Retief books. They are hilarious and wise and wink at big government bureaucracy. I haven't read Laumer's most recent books, so I can't comment on them.

I had been trying to force my way through some other book and I was taken by surprise just how well Chandler reads, and how delightful his prose is.

Chandler was a very fine writer whose work is always wonderful to read. All of his books are great, particularly The Lady in the Lake and The Big Sleep. I highly recommend Dashiell Hammett as well, he wrote fewer novels and they read more like what Hemingway was trying to do but failed, but they are quite good.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at May 01, 2016 11:36 AM (39g3+)

202 >>The best thing that could be done to the Hugos would be to turn them
into an old, disregarded, and discredited waste of an author's time and
interest.


Well, I'm certainly looking forward to a few more wins this year!!

Posted by: "Noah Ward" at May 01, 2016 11:36 AM (NOIQH)

203 196 So the antiPuppy crowd that nominated If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love for a Hugo can now squirm on Space Raptor Butt Invasion.

Love is Real.
Posted by: ReactionaryMonster at May 01, 2016 11:17 AM (k2Hcx)
---
"Space Raptor Butt Invasion" is certainly Tingle's most accessible work, but is it as reflective of and chalenging to the Allosaurus/Anusaurus intersectionality as "Gay T-Rex Law Firm: Executive Boner"?
Posted by: All Hail Eris, Literate Savage at May 01, 2016 11:32 AM (jR7Wy)

This homosexual reptilian sodomy confuses and frightens me.

Posted by: Caveman lawyer at May 01, 2016 11:36 AM (0mRoj)

204 181
*pours martini in USB port*
Posted by: rickl at May 01, 2016 11:21 AM (sdi6R)
------------------


And back on topic, I would like to second the recommendation by creeper (#6 above) of Betty MacDonald's "The Egg and I."

Many years ago, while staying at a B&B that had a few books on the nightstand, I casually picked it up. Not my sort of book, I thought, but .....yeah, it was delightful!

Posted by: Margarita who wishes she drank more at May 01, 2016 11:38 AM (T/5A0)

205 Isn't the Koran the best political military manifesto ever?

Sort of. Its written in three phases.

The first is Islam as a small religion trying to gain favor in an area dominated by other faiths. This is the earliest parts and are full of calls to repentance, suggestions that Islam is like other religions, and "get along with everyone" verses.

The second is Islam as a conquering power, with rules and laws and directives on how to fight war and destroy those who refuse to believe.

The last part is about Islam as the ruling power, with laws and rules about how to behave and how to run a Muslim nation, treat other religions, and extended, tedious passages about what awful bitches women are and how to control them (which I strongly suspect came about because Muhammad had so many wives).

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at May 01, 2016 11:39 AM (39g3+)

206 What is the funniest book you ever read?

Big Trouble and Tricky Business - novels by

Dave Barry.

Posted by: JT at May 01, 2016 11:41 AM (w6SuN)

207 Forrest Gump by Winston Groom is one of the funniest books I have read. The movie, eh, not so much.

Posted by: huerfano at May 01, 2016 11:42 AM (NSb9d)

208 So while traveling I ran across a cooking program called "The Two Fat Ladies" which I rather liked and came home and found other episodes to watch. It is an older show and the hosts are two ladies from England who love to cook (and eat). Since the show one of them has passed away from cancer, but I ordered one of their cookbooks and, for those of you who enjoy such things, would highly recommend them. "Cooking with the Two Fat Ladies" by Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright

Posted by: Charlotte at May 01, 2016 11:42 AM (g+AAj)

209 Bruce With a Wang!,

Thank you for the reply yesterday on the "dog" thread. I found some on-line links for the show.

Posted by: RioBravo at May 01, 2016 11:42 AM (NUqwG)

210 I saw Utraquistic Subterfuge open for Velvet Underground in the Dungeon in '72.

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks at May 01, 2016 11:43 AM (Nwg0u)

211 @Taylor: Your timeline is wrong. The tolerant, governing passages came first, following the hijrah to Yathrib. Then came the "Jews are bastards" passages, when they rejected his claims of being the Messiah. When they were all dead or enslaved, the Fight Back passages came, against the pagans in Mecca. When that was over, came the Kill All the Infidels passages.

The brutal killing passages abrogated the early, peaceful ones. Not the other way around.

Posted by: Apostate at May 01, 2016 11:43 AM (gpo0q)

212 This past week I've been reading JRR Tolkein's translation of Beowulf, and it's ten times better than I expected.

For one thing, the bulk of the book isn't Tolkein's translation, it's his collected lecture notes from the course he taught on Beowulf at Oxford (edited by his son). So you get a blow-by-blow analysis of why he chose specific translations AND a very deep literary/historical analysis of the story.

And to wrap it up you have the short story "Sellic Spell" which is JRRT's prose "fairy-tale" version of Beowulf.

HIGHLY recommended.

Posted by: Trimegistus at May 01, 2016 11:44 AM (Kdx3B)

213 I have avoided reading Forrest Gump because the film, while basically entertaining, was such a Boomer generation hagiography that it was practically a masturbation to their culture and people. As a non-Boomer I just was left with an odd feeling of discomfort and dislike, even though the performances were so strong.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at May 01, 2016 11:44 AM (39g3+)

214 Posted by: Margarita who wishes she drank more at May 01, 2016 11:38 AM (T/5A0)

Betty MacDonald wrote a couple of others that I read..."Onions In the Stew", about living on Vashon Island and "The Plague and I" about her time in a TB sanitarium. There were good but neither was as laugh-out-loud funny as "The Egg and I".

Posted by: creeper at May 01, 2016 11:45 AM (ghfOx)

215 163 A little off topic but reading and Oregon Muse related. I'll be reading some basic chess books this week. I really want to engage some Horde members on Chess.com in a game in a week or so. But I want to last at least ten moves, hence reviewing the basics. It would be a learning opportunity for me and provide humor for my opponent.
Posted by: JTB at May 01, 2016 11:04 AM (V+03K)


I know I'm repeating myself, but I recommend "My System" by Aron Nimzovich. It was written in the 1920s. He was among the top players of his generation, although he never became world champion.

It's beyond the beginner level, but I read it in the 1970s and didn't find it too difficult. It discusses concepts like control of the center, blockades, rooks on open files, and attacking weak pawns. It will give some structure and purpose to your games, rather than moving pieces haphazardly.

I'm sure there are more recent books that are considered better today, but I don't think you can go wrong with it. I always say that an amateur player who has read it will have an enormous advantage over one who hasn't.

Posted by: rickl at May 01, 2016 11:46 AM (sdi6R)

216 I think perfect strongly implies God.

Islamic dogma holds the Prophets as perfect, because they're shells. The angel opens their chests and rinses out their hearts (this metaphor is taken literally in the Hadith). Then they act and preach according to Divine Command.

So if Muhammad did a thing, that was perfect. If he preached peaceful coexistence, that was perfect. If he commanded to massacre a Jewish tribe, that was perfect too.

Posted by: boulder terlit hobo at May 01, 2016 11:47 AM (6FqZa)

217 Your timeline is wrong. The tolerant, governing passages came first, following the hijrah to Yathrib. Then came the "Jews are bastards" passages, when they rejected his claims of being the Messiah. When they were all dead or enslaved, the Fight Back passages came, against the pagans in Mecca. When that was over, came the Kill All the Infidels passages.

Islam didn't start out strong, it was just one crazy bugger in Mecca writing his delusions. He had to win over people and the initial Surahs are all full of this stuff.

As the Koran is laid out from shortest to longest chapters, his earliest work tends to be at the beginning (writing is hard when you're a demented Arab living in a tent).

The brutal killing passages abrogated the early, peaceful ones. Not the other way around.

Of course they do, but after that it gets... confused.

What is abrogated and dominant varies depending on which mullah you listen to, of course. Islam is as fractured and full of infighting as any other religion. The reason all those Buddhists were kung fu fighting is they had differences of opinion, after all.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at May 01, 2016 11:48 AM (39g3+)

218 A Clockwork Orange is a great read if you can get past the Russian-based slang used by the main character Alex. You can find glossaries online. The slang words are brilliant.

I read it years ago but only recently learned about Chapter 21, the last chapter which got left out of the American edition, which is what Kubrick filmed. In Chapter 21, Alex is redeemed.

I also learned that author Anthony Burgess was a quite good music composer as well as an author, and deeply religious. During WWII his pregnant wife was savagely raped by four American deserters, and lost the child.

Posted by: Ignoramus at May 01, 2016 11:49 AM (bQxkN)

219 So if Muhammad did a thing, that was perfect.

Even when he contradicted himself or, as Salman Rushdie noted in The Satanic Verses was tempted and wrote something he later erased from the Koran as demonic.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at May 01, 2016 11:50 AM (39g3+)

220 I spend way too much time online, though.

I'm certainly not ready to cut THAT cord! Without internet access I could never read about the books that I should be reading.

Posted by: t-bird at May 01, 2016 11:50 AM (yddCj)

221 Chandler was a very fine writer whose work is always wonderful to read. All of his books are great, particularly The Lady in the Lake and The Big Sleep. I highly recommend Dashiell Hammett as well, he wrote fewer novels and they read more like what Hemingway was trying to do but failed, but they are quite good.

-
Along the same lines, James M. Cain, Double Indemnity, The Postman Always Rings Twice.

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks at May 01, 2016 11:52 AM (Nwg0u)

222 220
Without internet access I could never read about the books that I should be reading.
Posted by: t-bird at May 01, 2016 11:50 AM (yddCj)


I'm calling threadwinner.

Posted by: rickl at May 01, 2016 11:53 AM (sdi6R)

223 In fact, that should be the motto of the book thread.

Posted by: rickl at May 01, 2016 11:53 AM (sdi6R)

224 215 ... rickl, Thanks for the 'My System' recommendation. If I can't find it locally, the order will go in shortly. I'm in a place where books like these can only help.

Posted by: JTB at May 01, 2016 11:54 AM (V+03K)

225 194--- L'Arabe du future (Riad Sattouf)
To sum up: excellent book to understand just how awful those 1980s Arab-nationalist regimes were, and why the Arabs hated them. If you get it in French it's helpful for learning that also.
Posted by: boulder terlit hobo at May 01, 2016 11:31 AM
--------------
Sounds VERY interesting --- and I might indeed get it in French. I try to read 3 or 4 books in French each year just to maintain literacy. (I neither speak nor understand the spoken language, BTW!)

I just now finished Pierre Manent's La raison des nations, which I very highly recommend to all Morons.
(There is an English translation called Democracy Without Nations?)

It is a short book addressing the question of whether democracy and the formal freedoms can exist in anything other than the nation-state in which they arose. Are they compatible with empire (the EU or a fully centralized US) or not?
He thinks not.

Posted by: Margarita who wishes she drank more at May 01, 2016 11:55 AM (T/5A0)

226 Erle Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason books are a lot of fun to read too. Clearly, no lawyer could possibly get away with all the antics he does, but they're sure entertaining and interesting. Almost all the stories are quite short as well.

Gardner would dictate them to his secretary out loud and then get them edited, which I think is an astounding feat of writing.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at May 01, 2016 11:55 AM (39g3+)

227 The Puppies dominated Hugo nominations? I foresee No Award will come out the big winner again, that guy will have a mantle-full of trophies in no time.

Read Jet II Betrayal by Russell Blake, where former Mossad assassin Jet goes on a mission to Southeast Asia and betrayal is involved. Exciting thriller, though it slows down near the finish.

Read Shakespeare's Richard the Third, the finale of his War of the Roses quartology. Edward is king, he has a queen and kids and brother Clarence, but they're all mortal so pretty soon Richard is crowned. His blood-thirsty ways against his allies eventually leads to his doom, and of course he couldn't find a horse in the big battle at the end. Great play and Richard III a fun murderous villain.

Posted by: waelse1 at May 01, 2016 11:57 AM (yWMGc)

228 Put me in the "Islam can't be reformed" crowd.
Not gonna happen.
And while Muslims do respect Jesus as a prophet, to them he was just another common criminal who was put to death, no resurrection, they even considered him a married man.

Posted by: navybrat at May 01, 2016 11:58 AM (8QGte)

229 "As the Koran is laid out from shortest to longest chapters, his earliest work tends to be at the beginning (writing is hard when you're a demented Arab living in a tent)."

That is completely backwards. Sura 2 is the longest of the book by a significant margin. And this is basically a give away that you've never read it.

Also, Muhammad didn't write it down. Others did, later. Reconciling versions was kind of a problem under the second Caliph.

Also, mullahs only exist in Shi'a Islam, and mostly in Iran. Sunni Islam doesn't have such a concept.

I don't want to be a dick, but you don't know as much as you think you do.

Posted by: Apostate at May 01, 2016 11:59 AM (gpo0q)

230 Great play and Richard III a fun murderous villain.

They say now that Richard wasn't quite the monster he's portrayed in that play, but it doesn't really matter. You don't watch Shakespeare's work for history, but entertainment and to steep in that fantastic, poetic language.

I have a really hard time reading plays though.

Since they found Richard's bonds buried ignominiously under a street, the play has more significance.

They aren't really sure if the bodies of the two boys has ever been found. A church in England has bodies they think are the boys, but they've never been tested to find out for sure. And maybe that's best, the poor little guys suffered enough in their lives.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at May 01, 2016 11:59 AM (39g3+)

231 Baraa - an arabic term meaning hatred for the sake of Allah of non muslims

Actually means something more like "cancellation" in the sense of El Guapo, "Santa Poco Is No Longer Under My Protection". Sura 9 is the Surat al-Bara'a because that announces to the Muslims they are no longer bound to treaties protecting the dhimmis and "munafiqun" (hypocrite Muslims, mostly Arab as it happened).

Posted by: boulder terlit hobo at May 01, 2016 12:00 PM (6FqZa)

232 That is completely backwards. Sura 2 is the longest of the book by a significant margin. And this is basically a give away that you've never read it.

You're right, looking over my copy I got it backward!

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at May 01, 2016 12:00 PM (39g3+)

233 And what Apostate said.

Posted by: boulder terlit hobo at May 01, 2016 12:01 PM (6FqZa)

234 Also, mullahs only exist in Shi'a Islam, and mostly in Iran. Sunni Islam doesn't have such a concept

Actually, all of Islam has their version of guys that interpret the religion and give official rulings concerning law and behavior. They're just called different things, and I used "mullah" in a generic sense like "priest" to save time. Even the odd little sects like Wahhabism and Ismaeli do.

I don't want to be a dick

You're doing a wonderful impression of one.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at May 01, 2016 12:02 PM (39g3+)

235 Never had cable nor have I ever watched much regular TV, so I have missed the whole cutting the cord thingy. As far as broadcast, pretty much all I watch are cartoons and morning news (4-5am) on WGN. Just found 'Animaniacs' on Netflix so will be watching those again. Anybody else remember 'Katie Kaboom' and the fashionable hippos?

No books this week to recommend; paid an enormous overdue library fine because grandkid and I were too sick to go to library -- my own fault because I forgot the bag in my car.

Posted by: mustbequantum at May 01, 2016 12:02 PM (MIKMs)

236 214--- "The Plague and I" about her time in a TB sanitarium.
Posted by: creeper at May 01, 2016 11:45 AM (ghfOx)
--------------
Even if it's not as funny as "The Egg and I," that one might be worth a look to me.
One of my kids did a term paper on a (long-closed) local TB sanitarium. It's an interesting subject.

Posted by: Margarita who wishes she drank more at May 01, 2016 12:03 PM (T/5A0)

237 224 215 ... rickl, Thanks for the 'My System' recommendation. If I can't find it locally, the order will go in shortly. I'm in a place where books like these can only help.
Posted by: JTB at May 01, 2016 11:54 AM (V+03K)


If you're a beginner, then My System is going to be way over your head.

But if you're going to buy it, anyway, I recommend you get the new translation by Quality Chess in the UK. You can get it through Amazon.

Posted by: OregonMuse at May 01, 2016 12:03 PM (e8ge6)

238 Speaking of chess, I reread my favorite spy novel, Funeral In Berlin, a while ago. Each chapter begins with a short blurb on a chess term that is then acted out by the spies in that chapter.

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks at May 01, 2016 12:03 PM (Nwg0u)

239 "to them he was just another common criminal who was put to death"

Actually, Muslims believe he never died. His death was an illusion created by God to spare him. It undercuts Christianity by acknowledging the historical fact of the crucifixion and Jesus being special, but eliminates the sacrifice at the root of Christianity. He will return at the end of days, alive because he never died; he's on holdover in heaven.

I'm surprised and pleased I still remember so much...

Posted by: Apostate at May 01, 2016 12:04 PM (gpo0q)

240 Islam's history since the fall of the Abbassid Caliphate has followed a depressing cycle: 1. Foreigners (first Mongols and Turks, then Christian Europeans) kick the Muslim's ass. (2-4, then repeat)

Don't forget us!

Posted by: interminable Muslim-Berber invasions of Andalusia at May 01, 2016 12:04 PM (6FqZa)

241 Put me in the "Islam can't be reformed" crowd.
Not gonna happen.


I agree, but mostly because the very core of the religion is Arabic. Not that Arabs are innately evil, but that the key elements of Islam that cause the most problems are so culturally Arabic that it cannot change until they do at a fundamental level. Which I can't see happening.

And while Muslims do respect Jesus as a prophet, to them he was just another common criminal who was put to death, no resurrectin

As I understand it, most Muslims at least believe that Jesus never died, that someone else took his place (so naturally no resurrection). But maybe I'm wrong in this, its just what I've read from scholars of Islam.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at May 01, 2016 12:05 PM (39g3+)

242 Everybody, I appreciate the encouragement to cut the TV umbilical. When I find myself yelling at characters on the screen, getting seriously pissed off at commercials, knowing that TV news is at best repetitive and constantly crap (Fox has become a huge disappointment), and realizing I've seen an episode about fifty-eleven times, the time has come.

Besides, I estimate, conservatively, that I have about fifty years of unread books on the shelves and on the Kindle. I don't need the noise of the Babble Box to enhance my reading pleasure.

Posted by: JTB at May 01, 2016 12:06 PM (V+03K)

243 the Aquitainians weren't Frankish ethnically

They split into Basques, Gascons, and Navarrese. The Basques have kept their ancestral language. This *still* hasn't been linked to any known other language-group, living or dead.

Posted by: boulder terlit hobo at May 01, 2016 12:07 PM (6FqZa)

244 222
220

Without internet access I could never read about the books that I should be reading.

Posted by: t-bird at May 01, 2016 11:50 AM (yddCj)



I'm calling threadwinner.

Ricki....much agreed!

Posted by: Charlotte at May 01, 2016 12:07 PM (g+AAj)

245 brother Clarence, but they're all mortal

-
Clarence, drinking more now but enjoying it less.

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks at May 01, 2016 12:08 PM (Nwg0u)

246
I have avoided reading Forrest Gump because the film, while basically
entertaining, was such a Boomer generation hagiography that it was
practically a masturbation to their culture and people. As a non-Boomer
I just was left with an odd feeling of discomfort and dislike, even
though the performances were so strong. Posted by: Christopher Taylor at May 01, 2016 11:44 AM (39g3+)
=====

The movie 'The Big Chill' did it for me. I laughed like a loon all the way through and was almost escorted out of the theater (date broke up with me the day after). Very good performances and so precious and silly that it was taken seriously. Really want to get a Boomer hate going? Watch that one.

Posted by: mustbequantum at May 01, 2016 12:10 PM (MIKMs)

247 What is it with Spain? They have all these little pockets and sections that insist after like 1500 years that they are distinct and must be a different nation. Spain has been basically Spain since the Roman times hasn't it?

Why do Basques and Catalans and other groups demand they be a distinct, separate nation? Its like Massachusetts demanding it be another country because they have a weird accent and are so very different from the rest of the nation.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at May 01, 2016 12:11 PM (39g3+)

248 HT to Mickey Kaus for pointing me to "20 Book Recommendations from Billionaire Charlie Munger That will Make you Smarter." Munger is Warren Buffett's business partner. https://www.farnamstreetblog.com/2014/06/charlie-munger-recommended-books/

My only question now is where to begin. It's a promising sign that I saw none of these on the shelves of my local used book store.

Note that only half are about economics, business or businessmen. Half are pure science.

1. Faraday, Maxwell, and the Electromagnetic Field: How Two Men Revolutionized Physics
2. Deep Simplicity: Bringing Order to Chaos and Complexity
3. Fiasco: The Inside Story of a Wall Street Trader
4. Ice Age
5. How the Scots Invented the Modern World
6. Models of My Life
7. A Matter of Degrees: What Temperature Reveals about the Past and Future of Our Species, Planet, and Universe
8. Andrew Carnegie
9. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
10. The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal
11. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
12. Living within Limits: Ecology, Economics, and Population Taboos
13. The Selfish Gene
14. Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
15. The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor
16. The Warren Buffett Portfolio: Mastering the Power of the Focus Investment Strategy
17. Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters
18. Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In
19. Three Scientists and Their Gods: Looking for Meaning in an Age of Information
20. Only the Paranoid Survive: How to Exploit the Crisis Points That Challenge Every Company

Posted by: Spellcheck at May 01, 2016 12:12 PM (HKBpI)

249 NOOD

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at May 01, 2016 12:12 PM (vvmPQ)

250 Without internet access I could never read about the books that I should be reading.

-
Yeah, but look at the bright side. Now you can easily buy those books you don't have time to read.

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks at May 01, 2016 12:12 PM (Nwg0u)

251 "You're doing a wonderful impression of one."

And you're consistently wrong and refusing to be corrected, because pride. I literally have a degree in this.

Your priesthood analogy also fails, because in Sunni Islam there is no priesthood. Religious authority is collective, like the rabbinate, within particular schools of thought. That is 100% different from the Shi'a who have a very clear and authoritative priestly class based on membership in the holy family. Which is why there are four schools of fiqh for Sunnis, but only one for Shi'a.

Mullahs imams are not the same thing, and are as different as pastors and Cardinals.

It's nice that you've tried to study the topic with some level of seriousness, but you are misrepresenting facts.

Posted by: Apostate at May 01, 2016 12:12 PM (gpo0q)

252 237 ... OM, thanks for the specification for the chess book. Even if it is beyond me now (soooo easy to do) it will give me something to aim for.

Posted by: JTB at May 01, 2016 12:14 PM (V+03K)

253 247--- Spain has been basically Spain since the Roman times hasn't it?
Posted by: Christopher Taylor at May 01, 2016 12:11 PM (39g3+)
---------------
In a word, NO.
In two words, absolutely not.

Posted by: Margarita who wishes she drank more at May 01, 2016 12:14 PM (T/5A0)

254 Asimov's Guide to Shakespeare is well worthwhile. It completely changed my view of Hamlet.

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks at May 01, 2016 12:15 PM (Nwg0u)

255 Wouldn't it be more effective to simply call Islam a Hate Group instead of a Religion? Advocating the killing of non-believers doesn't fit into the definition of a Religion.

Posted by: scrood at May 01, 2016 12:15 PM (3b9U4)

256 My System was one of my favorite chess books growing up, and it helps understand why attacks on the center from the wings can be effective. One of the more interesting chess books to read.

Posted by: waelse1 at May 01, 2016 12:15 PM (yWMGc)

257 JTB look into SlingTV
It's $20 / month to stream.a bunch of live channels, no contract.
We got it because we wanted AMC

They usually have some kind of offer for a free or 50% off coupon on a Roku or Amazon Fire TV if you,vas a new customer, sign up for 3months in advance.

Posted by: @votermom at May 01, 2016 12:16 PM (nbrY/)

258 "Spain has been basically Spain since the Roman times hasn't it?"

The marriage of Isabella and Ferdinand created the conditions for Spain, which did not formally exist until about 1516. Reconquering the peninsula from the Muslims was a necessary prerequisite.

Posted by: Apostate at May 01, 2016 12:17 PM (gpo0q)

259 Your priesthood analogy also fails, because in Sunni Islam there is no priesthood. Religious authority is collective, like the rabbinate, within particular schools of thought.

And their purpose and job is to do what? To be "their version of guys that interpret the religion and give official rulings concerning law and behavior." Which is what I said.

So tell me again how I'm "consistently wrong and refusing to be corrected, because pride." here?

Again, I used the term as a general description, like people use "priest" or "cleric" regardless of how specific that is a title in the faith or not. I'm sorry for the misunderstanding.

But if you claim that at no point was Islam in a stage where it was expanding, converting, and teaching concepts of forgiveness and getting along, I suggest perhaps you've not read the Koran. I quoted one verse above that specifically says that exact thing, then noted how most Muslim scholars taught that this was abrogated by later passages teaching dominance.

How you interpreted that to respond "The brutal killing passages abrogated the early, peaceful ones. Not the other way around." I cannot even begin to understand.

I strongly suspect we've been agreeing all along but misunderstood each other.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at May 01, 2016 12:18 PM (39g3+)

260 Posted by: Spellcheck at May 01, 2016 12:12 PM (HKBpI)

Ooooh. I love book lists.

Posted by: @votermom at May 01, 2016 12:18 PM (nbrY/)

261 The marriage of Isabella and Ferdinand created the conditions for Spain, which did not formally exist until about 1516. Reconquering the peninsula from the Muslims was a necessary prerequisite.

Yeah but even al'Andalus has basically the same borders as Spain today, didn't it? And before that the Roman region was about the same, I believe.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at May 01, 2016 12:20 PM (39g3+)

262 209 Bruce With a Wang!,

Thank you for the reply yesterday on the "dog" thread. I found some on-line links for the show.
Posted by: RioBravo at May 01, 2016 11:42 AM (NUqwG)

==============
You're welcome. I use http://goo.gl/2iCvGS the mega download is the best.

Posted by: Bruce With a Wang! at May 01, 2016 12:22 PM (iQIUe)

263 BTH, The puzzle of the Basque language has interested me for years. I've wondered if it is the last major example of a language and culture formed by mountain isolation. How long that isolation would have to exist to have no other analog is also interesting.

Posted by: JTB at May 01, 2016 12:23 PM (V+03K)

264 Current book is "The Case for Hope" by Lee Strobel, who wrote "The Case for Christianity" plus several other books that deal with Christian apologetics. Strobel was an atheist who became a Christian after his wife came to faith, and he started investigating the claims of Jesus on his own. At the time, he was a writer for the Chicago Tribune. He used to be a teaching pastor at the church where my sister goes, but I don't think he is still on staff.


This particular book is laid out in the format of a 30-day Bible study, with pages for journaling. It centers on the hope believers have, in the midst of a lot of junk in the world. Or as I like to say, Hang on baby - Sunday's comin.

Posted by: grammie winger at May 01, 2016 12:25 PM (dFi94)

265 Yeah I read somewhere that Shakespeare had over-emphasized Richard III's evil behavior, I think he wanted to impress on audiences that he was an illegitimate ruler who deserved to be overthrown. What I really want to know is how after murdering Anne's husband he sweet-talks her into being his wife (that has an expiration date).

Posted by: waelse1 at May 01, 2016 12:28 PM (yWMGc)

266 Advanced Infantry Tactics by Abu Hajaar is pretty funny. Short, but funny.

Posted by: GT 5.0 at May 01, 2016 12:28 PM (LLCcN)

267 I liked "Case for Christ" okay, I thought Strobel did a pretty good job. "Case for Faith" was a bit weaker, because his attempt at theodicy fell really flat (its all based on free will and human choice, which God dares not violate, but if that's true, why does nobody sin in heaven?).

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at May 01, 2016 12:29 PM (39g3+)

268 One of the most pernicious historical myths about the Protestant "reformation" is that Roman Catholics were denied the right to read the Bible, either in Latin or the local vernacular for themselves.
It's a myth because of several reasons, first being propaganda spread in later years about "heroic" Wycliffe defying the church to bring an English bible to the masses. The fact is that there were several approved translations in process contemporaneous to Wycliffe, what got his version banned was the commentary he added with out review.
Second, Bible manuscripts were hand copied and as a sacred text were treated as much as works of art as the word of God, hence the chain on many Bibles to keep them from being stolen while accessible in churches. It was Gutenberg who made the Bible available for the first time in large numbers, mainly to the upper class secular rulers who had every reason to back cranks like Luther who denied that scripture like the Book of James was invalid because it contradicted his beliefs.

Posted by: whatmeworry? at May 01, 2016 12:30 PM (dZGNV)

269 I think he wanted to impress on audiences that he was an illegitimate ruler who deserved to be overthrown.

I suspect he also was under more than a little pressure by the Tudor monarchy, as well.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at May 01, 2016 12:32 PM (39g3+)

270 A shout out to votermom for her site. She recently reviewed 'Pretty Little Creatures' by Vince Malim, the second in a series. This led me to finding out I had his first book on Kindle, which I had forgotten. They both look like good reads.

Posted by: JTB at May 01, 2016 12:32 PM (V+03K)

271 JTB, the mountain/valley isolation thing for languages has its "headquarters" in the Caucasus. I think the greatest concentration of unrelated languages in close proximity, anywhere. New Guinea's tribes might be similar.


One interesting tradition that showed appreciation for this "diversity" (used, unironically, in its original, meaningful sense) - when couples of different language groups married, the children would be raised speaking the language of the smaller group, to help preserve it.

Posted by: rhomboid at May 01, 2016 12:36 PM (QDnY+)

272 Posted by: whatmeworry? at May 01, 2016 12:30 PM (dZGNV)
=============================================


Wow. I don't even know where to start with that. I think I'll keep silent in so as to avoid divisiveness.

Posted by: grammie winger at May 01, 2016 12:38 PM (dFi94)

273 Why do Basques and Catalans and other groups demand
they be a distinct, separate nation? Its like Massachusetts demanding
it be another country because they have a weird accent and are so very
different from the rest of the nation.
Posted by: Christopher Taylor at May 01, 2016 12:11 PM (39g3+)


The Basques are culturally and linguistically unique as Finnish is in Scandinavia, it is a non-indo-european language, possibly related to Hungarian. They are in a ways like the Kurds, there are seven provinces in Spain and Southern France that are traditionally Basque and everyone gets nervous when there is a suggestion they be allowed to join as a single state.

Catalonia is a medieval state that was one of the resistor states to Islam, it has a specific Romance language, similar to Occitan of France, a longer history of literature and governance, and was a world power in its time. Catalonia (I think under Jaime I) was pivotal in seizing the Balearics which were important watering ports in the age of galleys and has been credited to restricting the Islamic states from free sailing up and down the European coast during the reconquest.

As a side note, some scholars consider Castillian to be a Romance language based on Catalan and other Iberian Romance languages, but pronounced originally in the manner of Basque.

With the rise of prominence of Castile and Leon in the 15th Century and the savage suppression of revolts in the 16th and 17th centuries, and the rise of the Spanish Empire in the new world, the continual warfare state as Spain tried to be the heir to the Holy Roman Empire, the smaller older states went into eclipse. Catalonia was traditionally a major manufacturing center in Spain, with a lot of steel production, however with the influx of the wealth of the Indies flowing into Spain, the industrial base was undercut because it became cheaper and easier to import steel and manufactured goods from foreign markets like France.

The wish for economic, linguistic and political independence is always hung around in Catalonia, and like the north of Italy, it gets larger when they feel like they are the only productive part of the country and are being taxed to support the massive welfare state managed by and for those greedy idiots in the capital.


In my opinion.

Posted by: Kindltot at May 01, 2016 12:40 PM (dxOfa)

274 Well, too late for the Islam smackdown, I see. Too bad. Lots of dubious yet nearly universal assumptions, I fear, in the main thesis, and in the positions of most of the Horde, on this one. They're on display every day and I have never once commented on them. This was my chance and looks like I missed it.


Did see that Grump made a needed correction way up top - Lebanon's balance was hardly solid to start, and it was Palestinians, not Islam, that ripped it apart (or rather, provided the impetus that finally enabled the pre-existing tensions to rip it apart - a huge distinction).


Which ties into the hate-the-Jew thing. Sadly there are various flavors of that pathology afoot in the world - duh - and for example I don't think Islam had much of a presence in Ukraine or the Baltics in the 1940s when You Know Who and his conquering armies found no shortage of locals to help in their genocidal war against Jewry.


Islam could not exist at all and anti-Israeli, and anti-Jewish, pathologies would still exist in probably the same outlines in the MidEast. The anti-Israeli feeling among many Palestinian Christians has been just as vehement, and sometimes just as violent (why hello there, Dr. Habash!) as anything coming from other Palestinians (who were like many of our least favorite Arabs fairly watered-down urban non-traditional Muslims, at best, to start).

Posted by: rhomboid at May 01, 2016 12:43 PM (QDnY+)

275 The wish for economic, linguistic and political independence is always hung around in Catalonia, and like the north of Italy, it gets larger when they feel like they are the only productive part of the country and are being taxed to support the massive welfare state managed by and for those greedy idiots in the capital.

Well I can respect that point of view.

Posted by: Tony Soprano at May 01, 2016 12:44 PM (39g3+)

276 No "outside of a dog" quote this week?

How the book thread has deteriorated!

Posted by: mindful webworker inside of a blog at May 01, 2016 12:45 PM (xkaSw)

277 And Spellcheck, Dimonds Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies is nowhere as good as Carlo Cipolla's Guns Sails and Empires.

Dimond complains about inequality and blames the weather and trade routes for causing it. Cipolla is an historical economist who claims that the "good luck" comes from hard work, learning and the willingness to change a culture's world-view to bootstrap to technological pre-eminence.

Posted by: Kindltot at May 01, 2016 12:46 PM (dxOfa)

278 I'm ok with Massachusetts breaking off into its own country.

Posted by: lindafell de spair at May 01, 2016 12:47 PM (xVgrA)

279 rhomboid, I hadn't heard of that deliberate intent to preserve the smaller group culture and language. I thought it just sorta happened. My father and his siblings, first generation, spoke French (well, Quebecoise) at home and church but nowhere else. Thanks for mentioning it.

Posted by: JTB at May 01, 2016 12:48 PM (V+03K)

280 And Sufism, at least in some cases, is indeed quite different. Many of the interpreters and some of the others helping US forces in Iraq were Sufi, Americans, often immigrants from Sudan and elsewhere.


They of course burned with anti-jihad fervor, clung to core American values like religious freedom in a way most Americans these days not only don't share but would find odd, and had an insightful practical take on it all. That being that all this is a very mundane dark alley fight for dominance between the US and the bad guys, and it's not about religion (for the important actors on both sides).



Posted by: rhomboid at May 01, 2016 12:53 PM (QDnY+)

281 Richard III and Anne Neville had grown up together and seem to have been quite fond of each other. Anne's marriage to Edward was an expedient arranged by her father to seal the deal between himself and Queen Margaret.




Posted by: the guy that moves pianos for a living at May 01, 2016 12:54 PM (tEDMc)

282 kindltot all these explanations for economic outcomes that attribute things to "conditions" and not to behaviors are refuted by human experience at every level, every day.


But since PJ was mentioned way up top, his two chapters "From Everything, Nothing: Tanzania" and "From Nothing, Everything: Hong Kong" in one of his books stand as hilarious debunkings of all these "conditions" explanations. Far better than dry learned refutations - just as cogent, and unanswerable, but hilarious at the same time.

Posted by: rhomboid at May 01, 2016 12:57 PM (QDnY+)

283 BTW Richard deserved his fate.

He repaid Edward IV's favor by killing his sons and usurping the crown.


Posted by: the guy that moves pianos for a living at May 01, 2016 12:59 PM (tEDMc)

284 Back in college I got conned into buying a Bhadavad Gita by some guy claiming to be raising money for George Harrison's causes.


OK. .. Raise you hand if you too got suckered !!

Posted by: Harold Stassen at May 01, 2016 12:59 PM (7+QLY)

285 Anonosaurus: as it happens, I've been re-reading my own old copy of Asimov's Guide to Shakespeare and I'm afraid my opinion of it has taken a steep dive.

In particular, his treatment of Julius Caesar makes sense only when you understand that Asimov apparently thinks Caesar was Franklin D. Roosevelt, and that Shakespeare had the same attitudes as a 20th century Brooklynite.

I was also underwhelmed by Asimov's take on MacBeth -- or rather, his extremely patronizing view of King James. Somehow one of the best-educated men in Christendom was an ignorant boob.

Now, Asimov was pretty good at historical and (for the Classical plays) mythological context, but as an actual Shakespeare scholar he's as knowledgeable as any other random biochemist.

Posted by: Trimegistus at May 01, 2016 01:02 PM (Kdx3B)

286 237
If you're a beginner, then My System is going to be way over your head.

But if you're going to buy it, anyway, I recommend you get the new translation by Quality Chess in the UK. You can get it through Amazon.
Posted by: OregonMuse at May 01, 2016 12:03 PM (e8ge6)


I read a number of books before I got to "My System". Yes, it's advanced for beginners, but I think it helped me more than the other books, which I've mostly forgotten. I read it as a teenager.

Maybe a beginner could just read one chapter at a time, and try to put those ideas into practice in his own games. Then go on to the next chapter.

This is the edition I had back in the 70s:
https://tinyurl.com/jqzqb8h


This is the newest one I found on Amazon. Is this the one you meant?
https://tinyurl.com/z6bqg5b

Posted by: rickl at May 01, 2016 01:03 PM (sdi6R)

287 I believe that the English guitarist who converted to Sufism is the great Richard Thompson, once a founding member of folk-rock band Fairport Convention, who has put out a string of excellent solo albums since the '70's. He's still active. I never heard that he tried to leave Sufism, but then you wouldn't know he was a member from his music.

Posted by: JoeF. at May 01, 2016 01:05 PM (uGnW6)

288 I noticed on top of a library donation pile this week a title from 2008:

_Obamanomics: How Bottom-Up Economic Prosperity Will Replace Trickle-Down Economics_, by John Talbott.

The cover fairly burst with descriptions of the fresh gleaming wonderfulness which Chicago Jesus would bring to the nation and its economy. Why, we were all going to be farting through silk. That balanced budget was right around the corner.

Now, seven years later? Eh, not so much.

I'll look for the book at the eventual library sale. Pay a buck for a laugh, with the buck going to a good cause. I think that even here in the SF Bay Area, public librarians would be quietly embarrassed to catalog these sorts of ridiculous hagiographic titles now that the Obama era is coming to a close. The gap between the promise and the reality is too wide to paper over.

Mind you, public librarians around here also are not going to be in any hurry to acquire any titles which retroactively anatomize all of the horrible failures of this administration. For that, you're going to have to turn to the Internet, not to the stacks.

Posted by: torquewrench at May 01, 2016 01:06 PM (noWW6)

289 Someone above mentioned the silly The Big Chill. What an awful movie designed to appeal to Boomers and justify their self-hagiography. The husband of one of the main characters, played by Dave Garroway was played as a square, but he was the only voice of sanity in the whole movie.
And don't forget that movie was the inspiration for the insipid "thirtysomething" TV series, which was even more vomit-inducing.
Notice that no one really talks about those two horribly-dated abominations any more?

Posted by: JoeF. at May 01, 2016 01:10 PM (uGnW6)

290 Isn't Sufism the moderate Islam that everyone seeks?

Posted by: Grump928(C) says Free Soothie! at May 01, 2016 09:23 AM (rwI+c)


Sufism is purported to to be the "mystical" branch of islam. I believe one of the more cruel muslim overlords of India was a sufi.


The big problem I see with the so-called "moderate" sects of islam, like the Ismailis, is that they don't explicitly, AFAIK, denounce the evil shit in the koran, so much as just to gloss over it. In other words, there's no theological basis for moderation within islam.

Posted by: Alberta Oil Peon at May 01, 2016 01:13 PM (z0I/T)

291 Finished my April wrap up, at last. Busy day.

Go see if you missed any book posts etc.

Link in nic

Posted by: @votermom at May 01, 2016 01:19 PM (nbrY/)

292 62 Posted by: Sabrina Chase at May 01, 2016 09:50 AM (GG9V6)

So, you drop by, but don't mention that One Blood went live on Friday?

Good stuff, as always.

Posted by: Anachronda at May 01, 2016 01:21 PM (o78gS)

293 Notice that no one really talks about those two horribly-dated abominations any more? Posted by: JoeF. at May 01, 2016 01:10 PM (uGnW6)
=====

Really have never watched TV so I don't know how many shows were spun off, but I do remember how BC was lauded as insightful 'real life'. I was just laughing too hard at all the idiocy and got in trouble because I thought it was a silly and pretentious fantasy and most of my cohorts thought it was great. Yes, I am a Boomer.

Posted by: mustbequantum at May 01, 2016 01:29 PM (MIKMs)

294 Sabrina, I just bought "One Blood". I may have to reread the excellent "The Scent of Metal" since I had to wait so long for the sequel.

Posted by: All Hail Eris, Literate Savage at May 01, 2016 01:31 PM (jR7Wy)

295 Good morning, what's left of it! Appreciate the suggestions for funny books. I need to laugh, since the world has me so down lately. Need to remember that there is joy in the world.

I think I will re-read "Loser Goes First," by Dan Kennedy. It's a memoir of a slacker, essentially, who seems to luck into jobs and succeed in spite of himself. I read it a few years ago, and remember laughing out loud many times while reading it.

Posted by: April at May 01, 2016 01:37 PM (79ZSg)

296 I think the US has really fucked up with Muslim immigration and we will pay the price one day.
I'm from New Jersey and we started seeing a trickle of Muslim immigrants in the late '70's ( Christian Arabs had been coming to my city since the 1890's) and at first they were great--they got along with everyone, kept their mouth shut and the women DIDN'T wear hijabs or whatever. And when the Iranians took the hostages in 1979, I remember a lot of these guys took flack from people---and they always patiently explained that they weren't Iranians. No one went crying to CAIR. There were even a few conversions to Christianity- and most of them went to Catholic schools here anyway.

But then the "trickle" became a flood. With numbers, they got bold--the women were pressured to wear scarves, they began demanding shit--and the Democrats who ran the city were happy to oblige. They are now a favored demographic here, prized higher than the blacks and Hispanics.

I will say that they have economically improved the areas where they dominate--there is commerce and restaurants and hookah lounges and bakeries where there was once boarded up shops and bars.

But they are also getting increasingly militant.

Posted by: JoeF. at May 01, 2016 01:40 PM (uGnW6)

297 Some language theorists believe that Basque is related to old Etruscan, a language now lost, and that both of those represent the last traces of the languages spoken by the indigenous proto-Europeans prior to the Indo-European migration/invasion.

By Roman times, various tribes of the Celts, who were Indo-European, occupied most of Europe. Gaelic is probably the best remaining example of their language.

Posted by: Tom Servo at May 01, 2016 01:50 PM (V2Yro)

298 268---what a lot of people don't take into consideration is that politics played a role in a lot of the events leading up to and during The Reformation. It was as much about being dominated by a foreign power ( The Pope) as about seeking out a purer Faith. In those days, The Pope was a temporal ruler as well as a spiritual one and he was involved in the thick of European politics and his alliances with Spain and France were usually at odds with the interests of Great Britain. Henry VIII of course had his own agenda and broke with Rome because of that. Sometimes its a wonder that England stayed Catholic as long as it did.
Luther might have been a crank, but he started out actually trying to "reform" his faith. He considered himself "more Catholic than the Pope" and maybe he was...at first

But I say as a Catholic that the Church did indeed need reforming at the time...

Posted by: JoeF. at May 01, 2016 01:59 PM (uGnW6)

299 When I was kid growing up in low country SC, we had our own set of heroes. Francis Marion, of course, but Mosby and his raiders were on our list too, as we charged about the woods and swamps.

Should you ask a 12 year-old now who either of them were, I rather doubt they would know.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at May 01, 2016 02:01 PM (ANVXm)

300 I agree with the other commenters who said that Guns, Germs and Steel is a politically correct apology for why the West prospered and others didn't. I would give that one a pass.

Some of the other books on the Munger list are good though, including Getting to Yes and Genome.

For anyone interested in the current immigration mess in Europe and the US, I would highly recommend The Camp of the Saints by Jean Raspail (1973). It is remarkably prescient and reasonably well written, although not the easiest read.

Posted by: cool breeze at May 01, 2016 02:06 PM (ckvus)

301 2/3 finished with Brad Thor's 'Full Black' this week. In the queue is 'Generation Kill' by Evan Wright. At a used book store, this week, picked up a copy of 'Russia's War' by Richard Overy for $1.00. Looks interesting.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at May 01, 2016 02:23 PM (ANVXm)

302 The preznit has tried to undermine every victory this nation has ever had. The list is too long, but for example;
apologizing for Hiroshima.--WWII
bowing to Putin--Cold War
transnationalism and the War on the Constitution
--War of Independence
freeing felons and attacking cops--War on Crime
cancelling borders--Mexican-American War, etc., etc., etc.

But it's not just us. The King of Jordan (who is more pro-American than u-know-hu) has said Islam is having a Civil War. Obama undermines that war by refusing to acknowledge that fact.

In our Civil War, those who refused to acknowledge it were objectively helping the Confederacy.

So is Beauregard Barak.

Posted by: The Gipper Lives at May 01, 2016 02:36 PM (Ndje9)

303 Respectable Sins is fantastic book, but yes, hard to read in the sense of exposing parts of your heart you'd rather not be confronted with!

Easy to read in the normal sense. I am almost done studying "The Joy of Fearing God" by Mr. Bridges (who just entered into the presence of his Lord last March at 93 years of age!), and my study partner and I have chosen "Respectable Sins" as our next study book, even though we've both it before. God bless you in your study, Open Blogger!

Posted by: Jason Jones at May 01, 2016 02:43 PM (7ERQg)

304 Make that "Oregon Muse." Sorry!

Posted by: Jason Jones at May 01, 2016 02:44 PM (7ERQg)

305 As it's now late in the book thread, superceded by another thread, permit me to muse (Oklahoma, not Oregon) at some length on creativity and feedback.

If I am "creative" in any field, it's mostly cartooning, I suppose. I compose songs, but I think of them as mostly cartoonish in both lyrics and tunes. If I write, it's cartoonish, too, as far as depth of thought. Animator, 3D dabbler, film- and videographer, songsmith, writer of opinion, politix, and phylossophee, dabbler in fiction, and cartoonist - obviously I'm unfocused - a jack of many genre, master of none.

Life led me long ago to not think of my material as marketable except in the most niche ways.

I don't create for fame or fortune, but because this stuff comes to me, and I've been fortunate enough to have the marginal skills and tools to set them down.

Fame is only attractive as a means to reaching those few who might like my stuff, and while I wouldn't reject fortune, I don't expect it.

If someone is ejjicated, informed, or amused by anything I do, well, that's reciprocity for what I've received from the creations of others.

I'm not out to mass-market, but more like handing some friend in the room a cartoon I scribbled, playing a song for them while beating up on the piano or guitar, for the sake of a smile - sometimes.

I used to distribute photocopies of my cartoons, tapes of my songs, to various friends. So, the Web seemed a boon to me as a framework where production costs were minimal and every genre was possible, and anyone with web access could be pointed to my work.

I realized even before I got on the web that in the digital cosmos, nothing can really be kept behind paywalls. So, when I started web-ifying my works, I put them up gratis, asking for donations. That has worked out about as expected, or less. People do pay for songs online, and some videographers and online writers do get $upport. So I hear. So, there's always the possibility, but I'm far from being supported by my twenty years of accumulated webworks.

I had hoped that in this 21st year of my website, I'd be pouring out stuff daily, and improving the look of the website as well. A serious illness sometime back, from which recovery has been slow, and other problems and distractions, scuttled those plans. I hope my creative lull is transient. Still have lots of ideas not realized or posted yet.

I have occasionally mentioned here my one sci-fi story, "Invulnerable." My original idea was to make it a "graphic novel" (someday the movie adaptation - heh). What I got was a mixed bag. Starts off with raw sketches, becomes mostly text, and ends up as a faux website and an "email" for the conclusion. Sort-of works in a web framework. I think.

It's mostly first draft. Although I have some "upgrades" on the cartoon part, and some new illustrations to be added to the story, I don't think I have much to improve on the basic story.

Anyway, the story has been online for a couple of years. I promo'd it for a long time by having the teaser on the front page, pinned to the top, and a few mentions here, as I said, but I haven't advertised it otherwise. It just sits there, for the world wide websurfers to ignore.

Other than my immediate family, I've never had anyone comment upon it, so I don't even know if anyone out there has ever actually even finished reading the thing. Would folks find it good? bad? fair? poor? astounding? hideous? I don't know. And the donation box (still intending to replace PayPal but haven't yet) remains virgin.

Which is all to say, I can really appreciate those actual writers and creators online who ask for reviews on the real websites like Amazon, as well as asking folks to purchase their works. It's encouraging to get feedback, I would think. Although, I've had feedback on my works (mostly my music), in person, which was mostly quite discouraging, but I think, well, that wasn't written for you, I guess. Folks you know, and relatives, can be the harshest critics. Prophet not without honor except in his own country, as they say. Certainly bewildering to have no feed back at all.

While just talking about Invulnerable in this tl;dr comment, is intrinsically self-promotional - and I've even said many of these things on here before - I'm not begging or whining. I like what I do or I wouldn't do it, but I'm shy about asking anyone to go check stuff out - 'cause, you might not find anything I do your cup of tea; but I'll bet there's at least a couple people in this wide world that might like something in my eclectic collection. So I keep on, or intend to. Plainly, I have a fool for an editor and publisher.

Just noodling on self-publication, creativity, and promotion, trying to find the niche market puddles in the deep sea of the web.

mindfulwebworks.com/invulnerable

Posted by: mindful webworker did that by accident - really - at May 01, 2016 03:02 PM (xkaSw)

306 Russian-based slang used by the main character Alex. You can find glossaries online. The slang words are brilliant.


I read it after I studied Russian. Thank goodness I waited. It would have taken forever to get through having to look up all the slang.

Posted by: no good deed at May 01, 2016 03:14 PM (GgxVX)

307 183, Piercello, loved the Retief series. I have a couple of them around here somewhere. I should probably re-read them.

Posted by: Tonestaple at May 01, 2016 04:14 PM (icrQc)

308 re; 302 Another victory reversal is the finalization of our Surge Victory to Iran with the surrender of Baghdad.

This will be painted as a anti-corruption movement, but underlying all is the Ayatollah. Expect the Misadministration to call it anything but what it is: Unconditional Surrender.

Obama wanted His Own Personal Vietnam, and he got it.

Posted by: The Gipper Lives at May 01, 2016 04:21 PM (Ndje9)

309 This is the newest one I found on Amazon. Is this the one you meant?

https://tinyurl.com/z6bqg5b
Posted by: rickl at May 01, 2016 01:03 PM (sdi6R)


That's the one.

Posted by: OregonMuse at May 01, 2016 04:21 PM (e8ge6)

310 I read it after I studied Russian. Thank goodness I waited. It would have taken forever to get through having to look up all the slang.

Posted by: no good deed at May 01, 2016 03:14 PM (GgxVX)


I read Clockwork Orange in high school. I struggled through the Russianized slang, but enough repetition and context enabled me to figure most of it out eventually. Then after I read the final chapter and finished the book, I noticed the slang glossary as an appendix in the back.

Posted by: OregonMuse at May 01, 2016 04:25 PM (e8ge6)

311
There is no such thing as "radical" Islam. There is, simply, Islam.






Posted by: Libra at May 01, 2016 04:49 PM (GblmV)

312 Ty Cobb a Terrible Beauty,
Via the side bar they just made up crap about him, going to get the book.

Posted by: Patrick From Ohio at May 01, 2016 07:56 PM (c4yY7)

313 http://tinyurl.com/jydceu4

Was gifted this book by my boss 45-odd years ago. I was not an absolute beginner, but very unlearned. This book helped enough that my so-called friends set me up a match with a ringer, the local champ. Good times, good times.

Posted by: phunctor at May 01, 2016 09:51 PM (CKGil)

314 @grammie winger

You have an admirer here grammie, God bless ya.

Posted by: phunctor at May 01, 2016 10:04 PM (CKGil)

315 Just finished Sabrina Chase' "One Blood".
Recommended. If we buy it enough I'm sure she'll find a trilogy in there :p.

Posted by: phunctor at May 01, 2016 10:11 PM (CKGil)

316 Oregon Muse:
Sounds like there should be some discussion and recommendations of chess books in the chess thread.

None of my family members or friends played chess. My dad taught me to play checkers, and usually beat me. But I occasionally saw chess depicted in TV shows and movies, and the pieces fascinated me. When I was 10 or 11, during a family vacation we stopped somewhere. It may have been a Stuckey's or a place like that. I bought a little plastic pegboard set and Reuben Fine's "Chess the Easy Way", and decided to learn how to play.

Once I learned the basic moves, I got bogged down and gave up in frustration. It took several false starts, but eventually I taught myself to play with that book. I wouldn't recommend it, though. There are probably much better books for beginners and just beyond the beginner level.

After making it through that book, "My System" was a piece of cake by comparison.

Posted by: rickl at May 01, 2016 10:29 PM (sdi6R)

317 "I read Clockwork Orange in high school. I struggled through the Russianized slang, but enough repetition and context enabled me to figure most of it out eventually. Then after I read the final chapter and finished the book, I noticed the slang glossary as an appendix in the back."

LOL. I had the benefit of that 100 word glossary at the back.

Word is that soon after the novel came out an actor in Strangelove gave it Kubrick telling him that you have to film this, but Kubrick initially couldn't get past the Russian slang, and only came back to it later (maybe when he got a glossary).

IMHO Clockwork is Kubrick's best film as it best deals with his recurring theme of what makes people human and not just wind-up tops (a "clockwork orange"). The key is that Alex has free will, even if he makes bad choices. Kubrick pretty much shot the novel, but his visual and musical framing are magical. Recall the opening shot when we first meet Malcolm McDowell as Alex, one of the best scenes in film.

IMHO, the novel is one of the best of the 20th Century, but I'm no expert. I've never read a word of Toni Morrison.

Have to trigger warn that the movie was (and still is) so powerful that it can still be traumatizing for some to see (especially rape victims). (It must have been truly shocking in 1971).

We are all capable of being Alex until we decide not to be, which is what's in the "missing" Chapter 21. Redemption is possible.

If you're interested in reading it, the original novel is short (IIRC 170 pages) and readable if you have a glossary for those 100 or so words, which are integral and actually LOL funny. Worth the effort.

Posted by: Ignoramus at May 01, 2016 10:50 PM (bQxkN)

318 316 Oregon Muse:
Sounds like there should be some discussion and recommendations of chess books in the chess thread.


Probably not a bad idea. Let me think on it.

Posted by: OregonMuse at May 01, 2016 11:16 PM (e8ge6)

319 317
Have to trigger warn that the movie was (and still is) so powerful that it can still be traumatizing for some to see (especially rape victims). (It must have been truly shocking in 1971).
Posted by: Ignoramus at May 01, 2016 10:50 PM (bQxkN)


Once my car broke down in a rural area. I knocked on the door of a nearby house and an older woman answered. I was painfully conscious of that scene and tried very very hard to be as nonthreatening as possible. If she had seen it I wouldn't have blamed her if she shot me on sight.

Posted by: rickl at May 01, 2016 11:19 PM (sdi6R)

320 Have to trigger warn that the movie was (and still is) so powerful that it can still be traumatizing for some to see (especially rape victims). (It must have been truly shocking in 1971).

Posted by: Ignoramus at May 01, 2016 10:50 PM (bQxkN)


I heard that Anthony Burgess' wife was raped in a similar fashion by 4 American soldiers who had deserted when he was away from her serving in WWII.

Posted by: OregonMuse at May 02, 2016 01:59 AM (e8ge6)

321 Hallo to the AOSHQ group on Goodreads.

Posted by: RJP at May 03, 2016 04:27 PM (nZ1Ck)

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